Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fashion Documentaries

I love fashion and I love the crazy, creative and colorful characters that inhabit its universe. As a kid I would religiously watch every episode of CNN Style by Elsa Klench. That's how i discovered the designs of Helmut Lang, Yohji Yamamoto, Calvin Klein, among the popular ones. And to the more obscure names like Atsuro Tayama, Keita Maruyama, Copperwheat&Blundell. I have never been to any Alexander McQueen show but I can visualize most of his collections because of his elaborate presentation I've seen as reported on CNN Style. That's the effect on me. I enjoy listening to designers being interviewed about their collection and how they explain their inspirations and processes. But it's a long time ago that the show's off-air. There was also Fashion Television with Jeanne Baker, Behind the Velvet Rope with Lauren Ezersky and Fashion File with Tim Blanks. Do you still remember MTV's House of Style? There was another MTV production showing fashion shows with very funny pop-up comments on the screen. I don't know if those shows are still airing. It's good FTV has those 'Designer at Work' segments now so we can hear designers being interviewed. Just the other night I enjoyed how Valentino, in the middle of the FTV interview, excused himself and proceeded to instruct how a garment was wrongly done. I think it's such a gem FTV captured that moment during Valentino's last haute couture collection. That's why I can't wait to see the documentary about him which I asked my friend Eliz to get for me in New York. Plus, the Karl Lagerfeld documentary, also. Of course, she watched 'The September Issue' during its premiere in New York and she reported that I'm gonna LOVE it. I just have to wait for its dvd release, hopefully.

I was lucky when Lyka, Mama O and Ekra Tan visited me early this year because part of the loot they gave me were dvd's of fashion documentaries by some of the brightest names in fashion.

The first popular fashion documentary, as far as I know, where they follow Isaac Mizrahi during the creation and presentation of his fall/winter 1994 collection. Sandra Bernhard singing 'You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)' during the opening segment is just amazing. I've seen it in 'youtube', actually, so you can search it there and be ready to go back in time when Naomi, Linda, Cindy ruled the runway and Kate Moss was still a newbie. Even Shalom Harlow and Amber Valetta were so young then. Fave moment was the 'dewy make-up in the tundra' discussion of Isaac. Be surprised to see the very young and kooky Carla Bruni. Also, Linda was wearing a Helmut Lang sweater that has been inspiring for me during the creation of my fall/winter 09.

I can't even begin to decribe how I feel after seeing this. Marc Jacobs share how he makes his own collection and Louis Vuitton for spring/summer 2007(?). I love how it just presents Marc and his team, doing what they love and the many facets of juggling two labels that were opposite but sharing a similar creative director. I've watched it 5 times already and I still can't get enough of it. I love how they showed the 'storm' video during the start of the Louis Vuitton show. And the meeting of Yayoi Kusama by Marc is so cute. A must see! You will drool over the bags especially my fave LV Street. Anna Wintour visits Marc at LV. So many highlights.

Wim Wenders docu of Yohji Yamamoto is like an art film. If you're not really interested in fashion, Yohji Yamamoto or a die-hard fan of Mr. Wenders, you'll probably sleep on this one. Whereas the Marc Jacobs video clearly just follows and documents, this documentary is a sort of meditation of the director on the meaning of making documentaries and videos and how information relates to the age of electronic data and computer images. It also talks about Yohji's dedication and processes and how somehow the director can relate to it. It is a documentary about Yohji AND to some extent Wim Wenders, himself. You can't deny the genius of Yohji and you can see here his obsessive attention to details. They showed how many times he signed his signature to get that perfect one for the signage of his store. I also learned about working with gravity when making a pattern. Just amazing! I suggest you watch this like you are watching an art film and in the mood for some intellectual fare.

Director Douglas Keeve, of the Unzipped fame, reunites with fashion as he documents the making of the first CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Here we see they follow 3 nominees, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough of ProenzaSchouler, Do.rii Chung and Alexandre Plokhov of Cloak. Here it is revealed how young designers and labels struggle to survive in the big ocean of fashion in America. It's hard, hard work to be able to maintain, not even profitable, to manage a fashion business. We see the designers battle stress of working all the time, late deliveries, cancelled orders and finding models.

The latest one I received from Eliz, which she got in Tokyo. It's the making of Yves Saint Laurent's last haute couture collection and another feature discussing his life and times and how he reached the pinnacle of his stature as one of fashion's demigod. I'm not a fan of YSL and often see his work as sort of museum relics or part of an era I've never lived. I enjoyed how his inner circle of supporters operate to materialize his vision. My fave is Loulou de la Falaise with her larger than life stories and equally large accessories. It's a peek into a world so vastly different than what one can experience in third world fashion. I felt melancholic after watching this and an image of a fragile Yves burning in my memory.


toxic disco boy said...

saw a feature of u sa Mega. hihi. more power don!

toxic disco boy said...

ok. i'll take pics and show u. haha.

toxic disco boy said...


fuchsiaboy said...

thanks! win!

bwisit! said...

hi don! hey, i also remember watching elsa klench and MTV House of Style (hmmm... does that say something about my age?). I loved MTV House of Style for the simple fact that they always show cute, pencil-thin men in skimpy bathing suits hehehe. Ang lupet ng mga fashion shows ni Alexander McQueen ano? He just blows my mind. Hahanapin ko nga yang mga fashion docus na nasulat mo. someone should really produce a good fashion docu on our local designers (parang wala pa eh).

fuchsiaboy said...

During the time of MTV House of Style, that was the time of the rise of Gucci under Tom Ford so i know what you mean by men in skimpy bathing suits. Nauso pa nga nun yung Gucci na thongs in flesh jersey with the GG logo holding the strings of the thong.

Alexander is a showman. His vision in presenting his shows, along with John Galliano and Hussein Chalayan, are works of genius.

Maybe Carlo J. can do a fashion docu, no? Or yung mga indie directors na walang magawa kundi guwawa ng gay digital movies. Para naman maiba. I think Rajo Laurel or Frederick Peralta would be a good subject matter. Or yung mga designers who go to Dubai or Saudi just to design. :)