Some things are certain of this time of year. You inevitably catch your mid-Feb cold, despite endless bouts of vitamins and trialling every new-fangled therapy on the market. The weather takes a turn for the worst (we’ll now be blowing our way between fashion shows – no cars necessary). But without fail, a new cinematic release is delivered to our inbox in the form of Miu Miu’s Women’s Tales short-film series. The bi-annual offerings that pave the way for each new Miu Miu fashion show see an all-female cast of directors explore themes of vanity and femininity, and this season is no different.
Now joining the legacy of talented women (including our forever girl crush Chloë Sevigny) is Polish director, screenwriter and producer Małgorzata Szumowska, taking the helm with her film Nightwalk. Decorated with multiple awards from Berlin International Film Festival, Szumowska’s unsettling explorations of gender across different cultures have rendered so much success. And with totally free rein of concept along with Miu Miu’s collection at her disposal, the 19th tale in question is set to wow with darkly elegant visuals.
Premiering tonight via YouTube and a dedicated event at New York Fashion Week, Nightwalk is a silent story of two youths with differing backgrounds sharing weight of familial estrangement which begins as the protagonists embark on a life-changing stroll through the darkened streets of Warsaw, Poland. The once notoriously conservative city, now asleep, transforms into fields of liberation. The young girl and boy cross paths, sharing an immediate sense of understanding and reassurance of life within their rigid inherited gender roles. The film follows their simultaneous transformations, with a building energy of excitement in their newly embodied freedom. Teen acting star Raffrey Cassidy, the fresh-face of young Snow White in Snow White and The Huntsman, brings her youthful innocence to the role of the daughter. No stranger to the house of Miu Miu, the brand’s AW18 campaign saw her modelling debut – all peachy flushed cheeks and smokey eyes, the perfect embodiment of the dark mystery and playful naivety that their collections encompass. Following her previous lead in Szumowska’s The Other Lamb, Cassidy’s work with the director continues to champion female empowerment in Miu Miu’s commission.
Basing the film around her close friend’s daily struggles of life as a genderqueer Polish citizen, Szumowska highlights the bravery and constant strive for self-acceptance against social expectations. Miu Miu continue to use their platform within fashion to create conversations around issues that really matter. And in such a visually beautiful manner at that, we’ll surely be huge fans of Women’s Tales for years to come.
by Ella Aldersey-Williams
‘Nightwalk’ by Małgorzata Szumowska premieres as Miu Miu’s Women’s Tales on February 12th at 2am GMT. All photographs by Brigitte Lacombe.