Breathtaking stories of groundbreaking fashion influencers.
Films in theme
“I don’t live for fashion, I live for beauty and style.” So says haute couture eminence grise André Leon Talley in the opening seconds of Kate Novack’s The Gospel According to André, and the director takes those words as gospel. The documentary is a deeply loving, frequently beautiful testament to the former Vogue editor, who rose from humble beginnings in North Carolina to become arguably the high fashion world’s first major African-American tastemaker […]. Best known for his long association with Vogue, Talley has long stood out even in the peacockish world of couture: his imposing six-and-a-half-foot profile, usually decked out in lavish capes and jackets, is as much a staple of Paris runways as flashbulbs and champagne flutes. Alongside plenty of vintage footage, Novack follows him around New York City, his home in White Plains, and his hometown of Durham throughout the summer and fall of 2016, giving fly-on-the-wall
The Inferno Unseen is a new cut of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s unfinished film The Inferno (L’Enfer) from 1964. It is edited by Rollo Smallcombe and Marketa Uhlirova. Clouzot’s cameramen Andréas Winding, Claude Renoir and Armand Thirard shot some twelve hours of film footage, showing abstract kinetic experiments and actors including Romy Schneider, Serge Reggiani, Dany Carrel and Jean-Claude Bercq captured in a number of wardrobe, screen and optical effects tests. The focus is primarily on [style icon] Schneider performing simple, seductive actions in carefully composed mises-en-scene. Departing from Serge Bromberg’s critically acclaimed documentary about Clouzot’s film (2009), The Inferno Unseen focuses solely on the haunting and often beautifully colour-lit visions. Here the union between the filmic and the sartorial is made all the more striking by the unique temporality of a screen test performance. London based music producer, composer and filmmaker Rollo Smallcombe will provide a live electronic score to the
[This documentary] on the late designer Alexander McQueen is ravishing, haunting and a must-see. Lee Alexander McQueen was just 40 when he hanged himself at his London home in 2010, on the eve of his mother’s funeral. His suicide made headlines. But it was the revolution he started in fashion that is still being felt and fiercely debated. In their unmissable documentary McQueen, directors Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui don’t just pay tribute to the groundbreaking couture rebel and his fervent desire to rip down old forms and create new ones; they also celebrate the damn-the-torpedos, full-speed-ahead ecstasy of the creative process. What made this man tick? How did an overweight, gay misfit from London’s mean streets ever manage to kick his way into the posh ranks of the fashion establishment? McQueen believed it was his duty to shock audiences into consciousness, not just about fashion but the world it
Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist [is] best when it lets its blunt star talk. [V]enerable fashion designer Vivienne Westwood got her start in the punk era of the 1970s, though she really doesn’t want to talk about her association with the Sex Pistols.[…] [S]he’s an activist for the environment, conscious of ensuring her products aren’t contributing to the problem. She’s certainly an icon in the fashion world and the film shows her hardscrabble climb to the top, with setbacks along the way, including a vicious ex-husband. But the best part of director Lorna Tucker’s film is giving us Westwood unfiltered in the present, while using interviews and archival footage to detail her rise from humble working-class roots. (At the outset, she pronounces herself “totally bored” with the project.) One particularly delicious segment comes when a fashion critic describes Westwood as a “loose cannon” just before she wins designer of the year