I love fashion and fashion design and fashion classes, yadda, yadda, yadda. However, I don’t think that I really want to be a fashion designer as in a big name fashion designer but I love visiting their world. How do I do that? By watching shows like Project Runway and the Fashion Show, but really, watching fashion documentaries over and over again.
I am very excited about The September Issue opening nationwide on Friday, September 11th. Cameras follow the amazing Anna Wintour as she and her staff put together the September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine. It’s time to see the real Devil Wears Prada.
Of course this is not the first, nor the last behind the scenes of the fashion industry.
A more recent edition to this genre aired recently on the Style Network starring Project Runway’s season one winner, Jay McCarroll titled Eleven Minutes. Cameras and creators followed Jay as he put together his first major show to premiere at Bryant Park during fashion week. The title is about the show itself only lasting eleven minutes although months and months of work go into it. Mommy and I laughed at that because it’s what we say about Thanksgiving dinner… weeks of preparation, hours of cooking and fifteen minutes to eat. I love watching Jay work and especially sketch… there are these great segments where the film is sped up and Jay is sketching and coloring the croquis and everything on the table around him is the color palette for the design. Of course it doesn’t hurt that he is über talented and that he reminds me of someone I know so I love his personality and that I totally want the blue see through rain coat.
I can’t count how many times I’ve watched Signe Chanel on the Sundance Channel where cameras followed all aspects of Karl Lagerfeld and the House of Chanel putting together the Haute Couture Chanel show. It’s in French and subtitled in English, but I could care less about what was being said, I was mesmerized by the entire show from Mr. Lagerfeld’s sketches to the cutters and sewers and then there were all the bits and pieces like the shoe maker and the lady who hand makes all the braiding on her little farm only AFTER the animals have been taken care of and her chores were finished. I’m saddened that I’m only able to find the series available for sale overseas, however I did check out YouTube and saw that each of the five episodes have been broken up into four parts and are available here.
One movie that really started it all for me is Unzipped with another favorite of mine, Isaac Mizrahi. It’s from the nineties and shows us some of the, then, up and coming Super Models! The documentary is a good view into how a designer might come up with show concept and why the industry is so hush hush before a big show.
documentary called Seamless (by
Douglas Keeve who also did Unzipped) is
available to view or own. It follows,
then, up and coming designers (some who have made it pretty mainstream) as they
try to catch a break and win the coveted award bestowed by the Council of
Fashion Designers of America and Vogue magazine.
Then there is the amazing Yves Saint Laurent, or YSL, there are two films that I have watched numerous times and love them… Yves Saint Laurent - His Life and Times and 5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris. Quite often they are put together on one DVD. Again, to see the behind the scenes details of a large fashion house are astounding and inspiring.
I was checking my television menu and saw that the Sundance Channel is showing Lagerfeld Confidential (on Saturday) and there is a new four part documentary series called The Day Before where documentarian Loic Prigen, who made Signe Chanel, chronicles the final thiry-six hours prior to seasonal runway shows of Sonia Rykiel, Jean Paul Gaultier, Proenza Schouler, and Fendi by Karl Lagerfeld. There are several showings of each part, here are the sites details.
Although there are similarities, there are so many differences that make each one special and a joy to watch. Check one out if you want to see the grunt work involved in fashion, especially if you like shows like Project Runway but would like to see more behind the scenes.