The Skin I Live In (La piel que habito)

Over the weekend I watched a film by Almodóvar called La piel que habito. It was just beautiful. Almodóvar is a skilful storyteller and in the film he reorganises time producing metaphors for our bodies, our perceptions and our identities.

The colours and surfaces that Almodóvar created looked as if they had been painted by hand – air brushed. Red looms predominant in the palette of garden colours and clinical greys, appearing as red shoes and vivid dresses, blood-soaked bed linen and rich densely coloured walls.

Making new people with vivid fabrics was a constant image – a man dressed scarecrow mannequins in vintage dresses in a shop window; a woman made doll sculptures from wool and cotton and the imprisoned characters plucked constantly at floral fabrics, flesh-coloured and black body suits, and sculptures made from ripped fabrics. I became aware of the importance of eyes – eyes without a face – and skin – a smooth varnished covering of artificially generated skin.

As visitors to our blog and website you will know that MSL is fascinated by women and the stories behind their cherished possessions. Women talk to us passionately about the significance of their clothes often linking colour, shape of body, and identities.

And as I sat intoxicated by the luxurious images of the film I thought of MSL and wondered what metaphors Almodóvar would use to portray us. Perhaps one day I will ask him.

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