Prêt-à-Porter (Ready to Wear). 1994. USA. Directed by Robert Altman. Screenplay by Altman, Barbara Shulgasser. With Lauren Bacall, Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni. 35mm. In English, French; English subtitles. 133 min.
In 1994 the National Board of Review presented the cast of Ready to Wear an award for Best Acting Ensemble. Not at all a love letter to Paris and the industry that invades each year for the seasonal fashion shows, Altman’s film portrays the business and the insiders as silly, vain, ineffectual, and dim-witted. Admittedly, these people and their clothes are beautiful, but in the bigger world picture, they’re not exactly relevant. Ready to Wear, like other Altman works such as MASH* (1970), Nashville (1975), and Gosford Park (2001), explores an insular community and its particular values and intricate norms.