A strong commitment, worn lightly

by Chiara Pinzauti

In keeping with what has become a tradition, after the first two talks Penny Martin coordinated the last two conversations for Miu Miu Women's Tales, in which audiences got better acquainted with five women in the international film industry. Three actresses took the stage in the morning: Laura Harrier, Kiernan Shipka and Rowan Blanchard; while the afternoon belonged to Tavi Gevinson, actress and founder of Rookie magazine, and Hailey Gates, actress, model, and TV host.

In the morning talk, the three speakers, all very young, spoke about their careers, their aspirations for the future and their relationship with Miu Miu and fashion in general. Which, it turned out, all three are crazy about, though they try to wear their passion lightly. "I like to have fun with fashion," Kiernan Shipka confessed.

All three young women, in any case, have mixed fun with commitment, making life choices well aware of their roles. As sixteen-year-old Rowan Blanchard recalls, when taking certain positions, there is the other side of the coin: "You expose yourself to continual attacks that are often quite nasty."

These young artists know that the roles they have carved out for themselves in film are also the fruit of strenuous efforts, over the years, by the other women and colleagues who paved the way for them. That said, when Penny Martin asked the actresses if it wasn't too much to ask of them a commitment to politics as well, all three seemed to agree that it is natural to devote one's energies to more serious issues, without, however, neglecting the more entertaining aspects of life and their work.

In the afternoon session, Hailey Gates and Tavi Gavinson tackled the same topics and took very similar stands on them. Hailey Gates is currently hosting the Viceland's docu-series States of Undress, a program that looks at what's happening in the fashion business around the world. And for Gates it is essential that hers is a job well done, but also entertaining.

Tavi Gavinson drew attention to one particular problem: the fact that when you write for a fashion magazine, you may be accused of being superficial, which is definitely a source of frustration. "Naturally," she said, "there are sides to this business that are ephemeral, while others look, for example, at the visual arts, as expressed through the body, which I don't think are handled any differently than other arts." Nevertheless, Gavinson admits, with all the problems the world faces today, people do need a bit of escapism, a touch of frivolity.

As far as women's role in cinema and the arts in general, Gates had this to say: "I'd like to see a film made entirely by women, because women's stories have a different perspective that is missing on the current scene."

Lastly, when Penny Martin observed that her two guests could be perfect role models for their contemporaries, both said they firmly hoped that every young woman can take herself as her model.


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