Fashion and film were glamourously united yesterday in a symposium at MEIFF. The discussion, called Afternoon Tea With Jason Wu, saw the young designer who dressed the US first lady, Michelle Obama, for the presidential inaugural balls in January joined by US Vogue's contributing editor, Kathryn Neale, the celebrity stylist Brendan Cannon and the Tunisian actress Hend Sabry. About 100 invited guests listened to the industry specialists ahead of last night's UAE premiere of The September Issue at the Emirates Palace hotel.
The film explores the putting together of US Vogue's September 2007 issue - the magazine's largest to date. Neale told the panel that she tries to concentrate on the immediate needs of her fashion shoots rather than dwelling on the magazine's clout in the fashion industry. "On a day-to-day level, when I go into my job, I don't think about whether I'm making or breaking someone's career. I try not to think politically about designers. - It would be overwhelming. That's really Anna's job, and that's what she does very well."
The discussion of fashion in cinema barely made it past red-carpet styles, although Sabry talked about her response to wearing costume in films. "I always say that the script is the bone of the characters and the clothes are the flesh, and when I see myself in the clothes of the character, I am the character," she said. Still, the fans of Wu's approachable style were happy to watch a film of his spring/summer 2010 collection and listen to his thoughts on design and his response to the Middle East.
"It's been really amazing to have my work presented on an international collection," said the 26-year-old. On his first visit to the Middle East, he described himself as "visually excited by everything I've seen" and was enthusiastic about the abaya. "I'm intrigued by it," he said. "I love the sense of mystery." firstname.lastname@example.org