Film + Fashion with Film Historian Lance Rhoades

Film + Fashion with Film Historian Lance Rhoades

Last night, the Bellevue Arts Museum hosted a lecture in conjunction with one of the museum’s current exhibits, Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair. The lecture was led by film historian Lance Rhoades who shared a ninety-minute presentation on how fashion and film not only influence each other but society as a whole. The presentation covered topics such as how models are viewed in the media (while viewing a clip of the opening credits from Zoolander) to how Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington manage to organize the pages of Vogue (with clips from the documentary that inspired me to pursue a career in the fashion industry, The September Issue) and even how something so simple as how African-American women style their hair determines their status in society (while watching the trailer for Good Hair, a documentary starring Chris Rock).

The lecture was not only entertaining but also increased my urge to learn even more about the fashion industry in regards to major influencers and how fashion and beauty continue to be a force in our daily lives. A few of the other films mentioned included Advanced Style, Iris and Bill Cunningham New York, all of which I’ve seen thanks to Netflix. Others such as Battle at Versailles, Mohagany and Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel are now on my watch list.

I was lucky enough to attend the Preview Party for the Inspiring Beauty exhibit on May 19th and be in the presence of some breathtaking pieces from designers like Dior, Givenchy, and Valentino. The exhibit will run until August 14th so be sure to check it out. Also, be sure to read Seattle Times arts writer Moira Macdonald’s article on the exhibit here.

Film + Fashion with Film Historian Lance Rhoades
Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library

Fashion and film have always shared a powerful, symbolic relationship. Sometimes trends are memorialized in films, and sometimes films inspire brand new styles. On a more basic level, how a character is dressed can tell us as much about that character as anything he or she says or does. Taken together, film and fashion exert enormous influence on public perceptions of race and culture, whether reinforcing or challenging them.

In conjunction with BAM’s Inspiring Beauty exhibition, this special edition of KCLS program Everybody’s Talking About It: Film/Fashion looks at the close relationship between these industries, from the work of important costume designers to famous cinematic fashion statements, with consideration of ways in which they intersect with issues of race and identity.

Bellevue Arts Museum
Bellevue Arts Museum is the Pacific Northwest’s center for the exploration of art, craft, and design. The Museum’s mission is guided by the belief that craft and design are essential to the conversation on art and are equally transformative. From objects made for everyday use to cutting-edge sculpture, furniture, and jewelry, BAM celebrates the creative process, skill, and vision of today’s most talented makers. International exhibitions are placed side-by-side some of the region’s most promising artists, fostering global exchange and providing a platform for thought-provoking ideas. For more information, visit

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