The political dimension of sequins

The AngelsFilipino director and actress Isabel Sandoval is a typical Miu Miu woman. She is smart and beautiful. And she has edge. It fits perfectly into the short film series “Miu Miu Women’s Tales”, with which patron Miuccia Prada has been providing a stage for young women directors from all over the world since 2011.

This week Sandoval’s film “Shangri-La” celebrated its online premiere. In 10 minutes of film, the New Yorker by choice addresses the forbidden love of a Filipino immigrant for an American during the Great Depression in the USA. The protagonist, who plays herself, is dreaming through atmospheric darkness, in which the sequins and gemstones on the fabric sparkle like symbolic glimmers of hope in the ongoing night.

As in earlier short films in the series, the role of fashion is exciting. The only requirement for the “Women’s Tales” project is to dress the actors in the latest Miu Miu collection. Surprisingly, it doesn’t look bold or promotional at all in the pictures. In “Shangri-La”, for example, the glittering halter top becomes a symbol of arriving in society: It means freedom and self-confidence, the courage to be beautiful and the courage to finally hit the plaster. Bling-bling not as a substitute for real recognition, but as a mental booster and an unmistakable sign of social and individual advancement.

Photo: Brigitte Lacombe

The fact that Isabel Sandoval, both director and leading actress, is transgender is not even addressed in the film. In a subversive way, this means updating the term “femininity” in the series of Miu Miu Women’s Tales.

Because the protagonist of this emotional short drama is overdressed, the clothes play a role here. Sandoval is aware of this effect and she describes the meaning of the Miu Miu clothes for her role in the film accordingly: “The costumes are a manifestation, an expression of knowledge – of your potential and your possibilities as a woman. As an underprivileged immigrant, she can grow into a matter of course through clothing and play through alternative life models, whether as a fighter, princess or goddess. “



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