“British Style” leaves me breathless, even with all these annoying never-ending “a cup of tea?” jokes. Too much, but I believe it must have been their aim. The film itself is actually a French production – une surprise, hein?! They even show YouTube makeup tutorials when describing the Essex girl, who according to the film puts on eight layers of foundation eight shades darker than their natural complexion because who wants to look pale?! Notice how nightclub bouncers are wearing a coat because it’s cold outside? Well the girls are only wearing a dress and high heels. For dessert, it’s a compilation of hideous hats from races and polo games – a treat for my artistic sense, a source for genuine laughs in terms of everyday style. Also included: punks starring a young and rebellious Vivienne Westwood, cybergoths, Burberry-encrusted football fans, whose favourite brands include whoever has a sponsorship deal with their home team.
Eggs and bacon for breakfast with two cups of coffee. I find an additional screening for “The Drawings of Yves Saint Laurent” on Sunday right before “House of Z”, it’s a date! A homemade cheddar-avocado sandwich in aluminium and I’m ready to go. Five screenings in a row, it’s going to be a long day.
MANOLO: THE BOY WHO MADE SHOES FOR LIZARDS
A mix of quirkiness and glamour, Manolo Blahnik’s joie de vivre and playful sense of humor alongside his perfect French leave me buzzing with positivity and joy. A treat for lovers of shoes, art, fashion or anything immaculately aesthetic!
“He’s up there with Baudelaire.” – André Leon Talley
#COUTURE, THE NEW QUEENS OF HAUTE
While I had heard of the name Iris van Herpen, I didn’t have a clear idea of who she really was. Never had I seen 3D-printing used for shoes and haute couture. A mixture of high-tech futurism and delicate details, this part of the film broadened by horizon and gave me an appreciation for including 3D in an art form as classical as haute couture.
Delphine Manivet, however, had a more classic approach to her craft – bridewear. While I always enjoy watching the detailed, seamless-aspiring process of making an haute couture garment, I found this part of the story to be something that I had already seen before.
“In China, we have a joke that you can predict the color of the season by looking at the river”
This is not a joke, chemicals from Chinese and Bangladesh dyeing factories are literally flushed into the local rivers. Alternatives – you ask? Why yes, there are many which were very educating to see, but the reason why they haven’t replaced the obviously fatal practices is a question on its on. Just like a Canadian sequel to the graphically alerting “The True Cost”, “Riverblue” takes the viewer on a disturbing journey from Ganges to Bangladesh, stopping by Zimbabwe just for comparison.
Lots of B&W photos, a low key 1980s touch and garage bands sounding background music, except for a brief Nicolas Jaar moment. Stories, gangs, dangerous situations, always a camera in hand and hardly any sign of digital elements, except for when spoken about in a negative sense. The forever ongoing dilemma where everyone seems to have access to a camera makes the importance of photography as an art fade.
“Do you think that designers like Dries Van Noten are disappearing?”
“Oh they already have disappeared, and they will never come back” – Iris Apfel
While not as futuristic as Van Herpen in #Couture, the collections by Dries Van Noten achieve glamour and poise through effortlessness. For him, it’s not about the clothes, it’s about the one who wears them. He brings the clothes, the rest is left to the model’s personality. Overdone is not in his vocabulary and polished only exists in a minimal sense.
My go-to lipstick this season. L’Oréal Color Riche Matte (636 Mahogany Studs)
DRAWINGS OF YVES SAINT LAURENT
Can you watch an hour long film full of drawings and not get bored? Yes you can. The drawings come to life thanks to animation, retrospective clips illustrated by the comments of the great designer’s coworkers, the center focus being on Pierre Bergé. My favorite part was when he was asked if he ever gave instructions to the great Monsieur Saint Laurent. Enter a petrified gaze, big eyes and visible irritability: “Des instructions? À Yves Saint Laurent?”
Just like Manolo, this film left me with a sense of good thoughts and a drive for creativity. Drawings, drawings, never-ending drawings.
HOUSE OF Z
The modern glamorous fairytale, the film presents itself as a modern epic tale of fashion history. While nowadays it is hard to shine one big bright light on one great designer, this story centers Zac Posen as the new rising star in the industry. Spotlight, baby, and he oh so enjoys is! Talent, struggle, fame, thin limits between family and business are all seamlessly edited together in a montage that makes everything look larger than life while keeping it honest. Director Sandy Chronopoulos definitely had captured the essence of the story she was telling with a flair for drama. The end wasn’t wrapped in a red curtain, it was far more visual than that, no spoilers!
I’m thinking about writing separate reviews, as some of these films truly amazed me as a fashion documentary enthusiast.