Armani Films of City Frames

By far the most glam event of the LFF – ramped up by its air of exclusivity – was thrown by Giorgio Armani to celebrate the fashion label’s film initiative Films of City Frames (a delightfully pidgin sort of a fashion-speak title that doesn’t quite mean anything at all).

Armani have sponsored four talents from film schools around the world: Turin, Seoul, Sydney and Sao Paolo and commissioned short films about those cities with a brief that they must also feature Armani glasses.

The strand was celebrated with a very stylish dinner attended by Dame Helen Mirren and myself and about 150 of our closest friends, including fash mag editors such as Sarah Bailey and Jo Elvin. I chatted with the lovely Gugu Mbatha-Raw, too. Tres Belle.

Lots of people wore black – I didn’t – and the waiters were choreographed like they were in a Kraftwerk video. Food was lovely, wine excellent but I shouldn’t have had the grappa. When will I ever learn?

Still, I managed to be at BFI Southbank the next morning to actually watch the films in question, followed by a panel discussion which, unbelievably was chaired by Helen Mirren herself, with help from fashion journalist Tim Blanks.

I really liked a couple of them, particularly the film set in Turin, a lovely little Cinderella fairy-tale story about a hapless baker, a taxi driver and some lost spectacles. It struck just the right tone and looked very pretty. The film from Sydney, Clarity, was also super-stylish and very affecting, a tender love story between two women.

Dame Helen rightly said she found the lack of irony and cynicism in the films most inspiring and refreshing.

I managed a few quick words with Helen after and she told me she’d trained as a teacher at the start of her career, so no wonder she was so good at taking this class. We also talked about her adventures in fashion such as the Jean Paul Gaultier costumes she wore for Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & her Lover… 

I wish the film makers good luck on the rest of their careers – they’ve got off to a very stylish start.