Alice Rohrwacher De Djess

Alba Rohrwacher. Courtesy of Miu Miu.

Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher was staying at the iconic Hotel Excelsior during last year’s Venice Biennale when she received a call from Miu Miu asking her to create a short film for their female director series, Women’s Tales. Accepting the offer on the spot, Rohrwacher decided to write a fairytale using the things she could see immediately around her: bejeweled actresses, flashing paparazzi, fast-moving housekeepers and the sea. The resulting film, De Djess, pokes fun at some of Italian cinema’s most glamorous clichés. “I wanted to work with all the stereotypes,” says Rohrwacher, who cast her sister, actress Alba Rohrwacher, as a demanding leading lady. “For example, when the diva grabs the curtains during a tantrum, it’s such a common image that people are afraid to film it. So, I said lets do it.”

Despite Alba’s over-the-top performance, the real star of the film is Miu Miu’s Spring 2015 collection, which the director brings to life with her first adventure in stop-motion. “I think of costumes as a character device,” says Rohrwacher. “I found the shoes from Miu Miu’s last collection very cinematic, so I tried to bring that out and make them talk.” Moving across the floor like animals stalking their prey, Miu Miu’s embellished dresses and statement heels become characters that populate Rohrwacher’s sweetly surreal world. “It was more like a party than anything,” says the director about filming with her sister and the Miu Miu team. “The perfect chance to play around with a fantasy.”