I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
Published June 29th 2022
Where beauty bridges the divide
Do you like high fashion? Ever dreamed of living in Paris in the House of Dior?
This week Haute Couture premieres at Palace Cinemas across Australia - a celebration of high fashion, but also a peek behind the scenes into the real lives of seamstresses. Book your tickets here.
Directed by Sylvie Ohayon, Haute Couture follows the life of Esther (Nathalie Baye) the Head Seamstress at the Dior Avenue Montaigne workshop. Esther is a character of routine and detail, which is disrupted by a young woman stealing her handbag.
Jade (Lyna Khoudri) lives in community housing with her mother who suffers from depression. Her best friend Souad (Soumaye Bocoum) lives downstairs with her family. Jade and Souad are in their early twenties, unemployed and spend their time wandering the streets and causing trouble. They are both immigrants to France and feel disenfranchised by the mainstream elitist culture.
After Jade rambles through Esther's handbag, she finds a business card and tracks her down at the House of Dior. Rather than reporting her to the police, Esther takes Jade under her wing as an intern. This is a complete culture shock for Jade, but Esther continues to mentor her and build the relationship, based on compassion and forgiveness.
The film is a 'dramedy' which is a mix of drama and comedy – you will laugh, ponder, and appreciate the twists and turns in the plot. It is a 'rags to riches' story which lifts the veil on assumptions made about fashion, those who wear it and those who make it. It is also a story about how items of beauty can inspire and bring us hope.
If you love couture, you will be mesmerised by the detail and beauty of the designs and the processes and rituals in the Dior fashion house. There is also romance and moments of truth as Jade's rough exterior melts away and a new seamstress is born.