Ugly exploration

(by Simonetta Buffo)

What about the latest fashion film by Ruth Hogben for SHOWStudio Beyond the glass? Mesmerizing!

A few years ago we met Ruth Hogben thanks to the fashion movies she made for Garreth Pugh and since then we’ve been really struck by her style.

But now, we are mesmerized!

Let’s start from the beginning.

Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. Maybe because it is newer,’ says Miuccia Prada. SHOWstudio explores fashion’s fascination with deliberate awkwardness and vulgarity. Just as Umberto Eco asked in his celebrated work ‘On Ugliness’ SHOWstudio will question if, when manipulated by the right designer or when backed up by a luxury label, repulsiveness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

SHOWStudio says so. And we are exploring what meets our eyes.

In mine, the whole movie revolves around the woman. Sometimes she looks like a witch, others like a fairy; sometimes an angel and sometimes a demon. She is tempting and tempted. She considers herself a bird while the sky turns from white to pink to red. She is the beauty and the beast. She is beautiful and ugly.

If this were not enough, the ugly exploration can also be a wonderful exploration of the new fashion language on the net: we find something of the past and something of the future.

Many images in this movie remind us of hitchcockian frames: the view from inside an old urban building with many windows, behind which windows a blonde woman stands (like Grace Kelly or Kim Novak) too; then black birds, a chessboard in a life game, a stairway for escaping. Everything is suspence, risk, mistery.

In today’s context, we recognize a picture about a fragmented identity of today woman, in the daily conflicts of her  hard life. Nothing is real but everything is possible. It’s simply a dream. Or a nightmare. The background colors are black&white and, eventually, red, like blood.

We are letterally dazed by bombing images, spiraling down into a deep emotional vortex.

Well, now enjoy it! And then… what do your eyes behold?


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