Monday, July 29, 2013

Fashion Documentaries

I've always been interested in fashion, probably because I can appreciate anything beautiful. I like flipping through glossy magazines and seeing all of the colorful advertisements, and even if I can't buy designer clothes, I'll certainly window-shop and visit thrift stores for similar looks. I also enjoy watching shows like Project Runway and America's Next Top Model (ANTM); it is amazing how shows like that can introduce the American public to some of the biggest names and faces of fashion!

This weekend, I was looking on Netflix for something to watch, and I came across Unzipped, a documentary about the designer Isaac Mizrahi and his work in the early 1990's. It was so interesting to see the designer at such a young age working frantically in New York City. And there were familiar faces who everyone should know, including Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell. This is the sort of film that lets you peek into the backstage scene of fashion, both literally (his 1995 runway show featured a scrim in which the audience could see the models undressing during the show) and figuratively (seeing the roller coaster that is fashion, from the highs of creating a beautiful collection to the lows of seeing another designer rip off your idea).

And of course I couldn't get enough of my fashion-fix with one movie! So I immediately started watching The Tents, a documentary that is all about how New York Fashion Week was transformed once all of the shows could be seen in the tents of Bryant Park. I had no idea that NYFW (not sure if that's a real acronym but I'm lazy) used to be scattered throughout Manhattan, but designers (Michael, Ralph, Calvin, Karen...they need no last names) came together and eventually were able to put NYFW on the map with the other fashion weeks throughout the world (Paris, Milan, etc.). The film features people like André Leon Talley and Kelly Cutrone, fashion bigwigs who probably would not be recognized by your average American if it weren't for ANTM.

Another film I watched ages ago but greatly recommend is The September Issue. This documentary is all about creating the most famous fashion magazine, Vogue, for its biggest fall issue for September. You get to see into the glamorous life of Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of the magazine (a job she has held since 1988). While watching the film, you have to respect how monumental Wintour has been to American fashion. I mean, she was the person to first suggest putting celebrities on the covers of magazines instead of models! In The Tents, it's mentioned that Wintour does not wait in lines, and no one bothers her with questions; she walks to her front-row seat of the runway show and that is it. Imagine being that sort of VIP!

But if you don't care for documentaries, you can always watch The Devil Wears Prada.

1 comment:

  1. Have you read Vanity Fair's terrific article on the history of haute couture, "Toujours Couture"? I highly recommend it. If I could time travel I would go back to 1952 and have an entire wardrobe made by Balenciaga.