In “Le Donne della Vucciria”, sixth Miu Miu Women’s Tale, Palestinian female director Hiam Abbass contemplates the transformative power of clothes, music and dance in a charming, evocative study of the women of the Sicilian city of Palermo.
“Coincidence… I was visiting Palermo when I received the demand to direct one of the Women’s Tales for Miu Miu… - says Hiam Abbass - It was evident that Palermo had to be my set, my story. Her Donne were to be my characters, her Pupi were to be my inspiration. This city contains beauty, history, tradition that makes one wonder with a big smile… Certainly a space where imagination meets the creation of a great designer and makes her collection dance in the magical universe of the ‘Sicilian Capital’… ”
In the Vucciria, the heart of Palermo’s historic old city, strains of quintessentially Italian traditional music drift into a dressmaker’s workshop on the warm breeze, carrying the anticipation of the long summer evening, and perhaps a little magic too.
The dressmaker sews in time, creating a mysterious collection of traditional puppet costumes, while the square below comes alive with music and dancing. As a cast of vibrant women rise and join the musicians in a crescendo of spinning polka dots and clapping metallic suede heels the dressmaker looks on, leaving us to wonder who really pulls the strings of this intoxicating fiesta.
Hiam Abbass is a prominent figure in the world of cinema, having worked with such directors as Steven Spielberg, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Jim Jarmusch. Abbass has written and directed two short films, “Le Pain” and “La Danse Eternelle”, and in 2011 she co-wrote and directed her first feature “Inheritance”, which was presented in at Venice 2012.
Photos by Brigitte Lacombe