Friday 13 April 2012

The Pier32 Film Club: The Man In The White Suit

A Google search on "Future fashion" for my earlier post on 3D printing and spray-on clothing brought me face-to-face with an old friend that I'd like to introduce to you all. A film that satirises the consumer society and the modern need for more clothes at a cheaper price point. Furthermore, it's a sharply-written tale that slips a neat science-fictional concept into a rollicking fast-paced comedy.

I'm talking about Alexander McKendrick's Ealing classic, The Man In The White Suit. Released in 1951, it stars Alec Guinness as an idealistic scientist, Sidney Stratton. Sidney invents a fabric that never gets dirty and never wears out. You'd imagine it would be an incredible boon to mankind, and that's the way Sidney sees it. But business and union interests have different ideas, seeing his invention as a threat to profit and jobs. Sidney is forced to go on the run to protect not just his invention - but his life.

For those of us working in the ethical fashion biz, The Man In The White Suit has an awful lot to offer. It says a lot about the impact of new technology on established business methods, and how new solutions bring about new problems. It's a great film, smart and funny in equal measure. And doesn't Alec Guinness look spiffy in that snow-white three-piece? Check out the clip below.

The Man In The White Suit on YouTube

The Man In The White Suit is widely available on DVD, and you can stream it through LoveFilm Instant.

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