Archival Film of Today: Mode de Paris
Mode de Paris (Paris Fashion, 1926)
Source: Europa Film Treasures
Duration: 4′ 49″
The models weren’t as skinny, and fashion runway style has changed in other ways, too, judging by this stencil-colored film by an unknown director, made in The Netherlands in 1926 by the Unie Filmrevue film company.
Still, by the standards of the day, and in the spirit of surviving World War One, the fashions of the film were daring: tomboy cuts, shortened skirts, flimsy fabrics in dazzling silk lamé, Georgette crepe, gilded pearls, and decorative roses. Apparently canary yellow was in. Bird of Paradise feathers were everywhere, even in the hairdressing styles. And check out that “snoezig kanten avondjaponnetje, geborduurd met paarlen en zilveren loovertjes.”
Paris in the 1920s saw the birth of haute couture, and of fashion labels in the modern sense. In keeping with all the dash and chic, and to mark its trip to the fashion capital, Paris, Unie Filmrevue colored its documentary film.
So early in the history of film? Indeed. Europa Film Treasures even has an online workshop that explains those early efforts in colorization, with exercises for all the family.
Europa Film Treasure is a network of more than 30 European film archives that is presenting a host of extraordinary early films, online.
On offer are films held around Europe that record activities mundane and monumental. (Unsprisingly, a stripping chambermaid and apple- and Coca Cola-assisted nude, in high heels, have come to be among the collection’s most popular offerings.)
As for Mode de Paris, it is held by Lobster Films, the Paris-based collector, distributor, and preservation and restoration house. For 22 years, Lobster has been collecting and restoring film, and now holds more than 40,000 titles.
The film’s piano soundtrack is a modern one, provided by Englishman Neil Brand, one of the foremost composers and performers of new music for silent films.
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