Bal Harbour Shops' Fashion Project Offers a Free Four-Day Film Festival

As the late, great David Bowie sings in one of his coolest tunes, “Fashion! Turn to the left / Fashion! Turn to the right / Oooh, fashion!” And, obviously, that's because fashion is pretty exciting. The folks at Fashion Project, Bal Harbour Shops’ cultural space, are well aware of this and are here to dish out more and more fashion in film for audiences.

Months after their Dressing Down the Movies series with Nat Chediak, Fashion Project is organizing another film festival — this time on a smaller scale. The complimentary four-day film festival, taking place this week beginning Thursday, is titled Wearing Time: Returns, Recalls, Renewals, and is co-curated by Tom Gunning and Marketa Uhlirova. The festival will focus on how film and fashion together evoke and reflect on the past and its connections with the present and future.

“Fashion in film has always been an important sign-posting device, deployed in multiple ways to guide the viewer through time. Dress is one of the most potent indicators of the past, both in film and in life. We may literally feel haunted when we open a closet and rediscover once-familiar clothing,” Uhlirova and Gunning note. “In film, not only can dress become a vehicle with which to travel through time, it can also measure time — set its rhythm. It allows us to wear time, even as time wears us out.”

Presented in collaboration with Miami International Film Festival, Lowe Art Museum, and Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives, Wearing Time features a multitude of films and discussions about the works that are being presented. It also marks the conclusion of Fashion Project’s fall/winter series of exhibition and programs, "50 + 50: A Century in Fashion."

This Thursday, January 28, during opening night, the festival will feature two events back-to-back. The first is an introduction by Kate Sinclair, titled "Fashion Is History," accompanied by a program of nine short films. Following that is Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Vertigo. Things slow down Friday with just one event: Farah Khan’s Bollywood feature Om Shanti Om, introduced by Anupama Kapse.

Saturday is when things get going at Fashion Project. The day begins 1:30 p.m. with a showing of Tony Takitani, Jun Ichikawa’s adaptation of a short story by Haruki Murakami, introduced by Kate Sinclair. Following it is Nicolas Roeg’s thriller Don’t Look Now, adapted from a Daphne du Maurier novella. In the early evening, instead of a feature, there will be a conversation between festival co-curators Gunning and Uhlirova about how fashion interacts with film and time. And closing out the evening is Max Ophüls’ final film, Lola Montes.

Closing night has its own series of events and film screenings, beginning with the experimental Taiwanese documentary My Fancy High Heels. "Resurrecting and Re-Editing the Cinema Diva" — introduced by Gunning — features two short films, one from the '30s and one from 2014, that recontextualize classic film icons: Joseph Cornell’s Rose Hobart and Michelle Handelman’s Irma Vep, the Last Breath.

The grand finale is the one and only Grey Gardens — Albert and David Maysles’ quintessential documentary about Big Edie and Little Edie Bouvier Beale, Jackie Kennedy’s aunt and cousin, which is preceded by Cindy Sherman's short film Doll Clothes.

“I was delighted when Marketa and Tom agreed to curate a special edition of Fashion in Film for us,” says Cathy Leff, founder of Fashion Project, who believes the festival and its lineup will continue to place emphasis on fashion culture. “It is not only a wonderful opportunity to bring this international festival to Bal Harbour Shops but also to position the shopping center as more than a site for the consumption of fashion and rather as a hub for the consumption of culture.”

Bal Harbour's Fashion Project's Wearing Time Film Festival
Thursday, January 28, through Sunday, January 31, at Fashion Project, Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Ave., Level 3, Bal Harbour. Visit
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Juan Antonio Barquin is a Miami-based writer who programs the queer film series Flaming Classics and serves as co-editor of Dim the House Lights. Barquin aspires to be Bridget Jones.