Introduction

As a fashion writer and videomaker, Harriet Verney has a boisterous, irreverent take on things. But behind the playfulness is a keen journalistic mind: she does away with the extraneous and gets down to the nuts and bolts of the matter, as quickly as possible. And it was no different when it came to this project.

“What’s Chained Girls about, then?” she quizzed. It’s an exposé of the secret world and private rituals of 1960s lesbians. “So, it’s a documentary?” Kind of, not really, it’s a pseudo-one, filled with cod-psychology and barefaced lies, I replied; at which point I started to think about how you could argue Chained Girls’ place on the fringes of the Mondo genre, that much-maligned breed of shockumentaries that started in 1962 with the Italian travelogue-style hit Mondo Cane and quickly whipped up into a frenzy of evermore outrageous efforts until its last, sorrowful gasps with 1990’s Faces of Death IV. Oh, you mean like fake news?” shrugged Harriet. Yes, exactly.

Within a few days, Harriet had watched Chained Girls and messaged to say she had an idea. The result is a bite-sized satire called Unchained Girls or, as she puts it, “a sneering reaction to the homophobic original, which claims to reveal the truth about lesbianism via fake hidden camera footage and made-up facts. Monica Urquijo and myself – with Isabella Boreman modelling – created this ménage à trois of minds to poke fun and flip fingers at the idiocracy of Chained Girls. And, just like the exploitation film-meets-misleading documentary it’s based on, our short Unchained Girls is all fiction and no fact, all fur and no knickers basically.” Harriet also added that, “the graphics in Chained Girls were nice so we ripped them off. Enjoy.”

Unchained Girls Film


Harriet Verney is a London based writer and creative director who contributes to i-D, US Vogue, GQ, TEEN VOGUE, Stylist Magazine, Wall Street Journal, CNN Style and many more. Harriet has made films with brands such as Chanel, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger and Miu Miu. Previously fashion features editor at Tatler, she is currently editor of LOVE.