01 January 2008

ciné(screen): unfolding florence

"Unfolding Florence: The Many Lives of Florence Broadhurst" is a docu-drama based on the life of Florence Broadhurst. I would describe Broadhurst as the Australian CoCo Chanel in the sense that she kept re-inventing herself to stay on top. She made up her own storied background, which included her being British, a close friend of the Queen Mother and a memeber of a wealthy cattle family from Queensland.

The film goes from her birth to her murder in 1977, reading from her personal letters and with interviews from family, friends and others who knew and worked with her. She was this amazing, feisty, determined, sometimes unethical woman who toured the world in the 1920s singing, then opened her own boutique in London in 30s,  became a painter in the 50s and a wallpaper designer & socialite in the 60s. Overall, the film has a dark comedy feel and disbelief of what this woman thought she could (and did) get away with.

Even though I would probably be a little scared if I had to cross her path, I was drawn into how she was so whimsical about life. A couple of her quotes:

“Women always thrive when thrown up on their own resources”

“Dull colors make me a dull person”

“I’d always been told that I was born before my time. Oh, surely to God the times can just catch up.”

Today her designs are making a revival through Signature Prints and fashion designer Akira Isogawa.

photo cred: abc.net.au

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