The film stars Italian actress Maya Sansa and is set to a haunting soundtrack, written especially for the film by electronic pop trio Au Revoir Simone.

Following The Powder Room – Zoe Cassavetes’ dreamy story of opulence and glamour, and MUTA – Lucrecia Martel’s film noir filled with mutant fashion divas – The Woman Dress is again set in an all-female world of glamour and desire. But this time fashion obsession is taken to its most extreme conclusion, in a metaphysical tale of transcendence and ritual.

A coven of elegant witches attends a bubbling cauldron, their shadowy cavern hung with the ghosts of dresses. Maya Sansa is undressed and led to a bath, and her finger pricked to draw blood. The witches – played by Heather D’Angelo, Erika Forster and Annie Hart of Au Revoir Simone – circle, chanting in strange tongues. As the smoke clears we see Maya Sansa has made the ultimate sacrifice, transforming herself into the object of her desire – a beautiful blood red dress.

The film, featuring key dresses from Miu Miu, draws on a surreal cinematic language, with its red velvet curtain, reverse-speak and dreamlike mise-en-scène.

Women’s Tales archive

"The Powder Room"
Women’s Tales #1

by Zoe Cassavetes

Women’s Tales #2

by Lucrecia Martel

"It's Getting Late"
Women’s Tales #4

by Massy Tadjedin

"The Door"
Women’s Tales #5

by Ava DuVernay

"Le donne della Vucciria"
Women’s Tales #6

by Hiam Abbass

"Spark and Light"
Women’s Tales #7

by So Yong Kim

Women’s Tales #8

by Miranda July

"De Djess"
Women’s Tales #9

by Alice Rohrwacher

"Les 3 Boutons "
Women’s Tales #10

by Agnès Varda

Women’s Tales #11

directed by Naomi Kawase