Starting tonight, Parsons School of Art and Design History will host two screenings of fashionable flicks with introductions by two familiar industry faces: this evening's showing of "Smashing Time"—a swinging '60's musical starring Michael York and Lynn Redgrave—will be introduced by none other than Barney's always-lovable Simon Doonan, while a second showing of "Funny Face" will be hosted by Tim Gunn two weeks from today.
"It seemed a natural thing for Parsons to mount a film series devoted to fashion," explains Assistant Professor Jeffrey Lieber, who coordinated the series. "We wanted to highlight the programs and the interests of the faculty in our school...We also liked the idea of contributing to repertory film culture in the city, and we've got a great theater, Tishman Auditorium, to screen films in."
As for his personal favorite fashion flicks, Lieber claims he's especially fond of the work of Visconti, the films "Conversation Piece" and "L'Innocente" in particular, both of which were costumed entirely by Fendi.
"I think there is still a strong relationship between movies and fashion," explains Lieber. "I think we see it today especially in the revival of period styles—for example, the return of '60's style in a major way since the advent of 'Mad Men.' We see it, to an even greater extent, in the revival of period styles associated with the great stars: in the last two weeks the remembrances of Elizabeth Taylor zeroed in on the iconic images of her from the '50s, '60s, and mid '80s, and I wouldn't be surprised if we begin to see fashion editorials in the major magazines pick up on that." Fodder, perhaps, for another film screen series next season.
Free Admission. Tishman Auditorium, Alvin Johnson/J. M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street. 7:30-9:30pm.