Celebrity Fashion

FANTASY FASHION DOCUMENTARIES

Excerpted from stylebubble.typepad.com

I don’t mean to be constantly aping content from the new issue of Let Them Eat Cake.  Blame it on the fact that the new issue is packed with the good stuff in a way that I never expected it to be considering the first issue was an A5 pamphlet affair. 

I was struck by an interesting article about the growing number of fashion documentaries being made which concluded that although films like Rudolphe Marconi’s ‘Lagerfeld Confidential’ or Loïc Prigent’s ‘Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton’ were never going to be massive box office hits, the niche audience and the demand for them is never going to go away. 

It raised the obvious points that for fashion lovers, a lot of designers tend to be enigmas, and beyond that bow at the end of the catwalk show, we’re not exactly saturated with their exposure in the public eye.   Of course we get a wee bit curious about those people who create the stuff we dissect and lust after, and perhaps it is a little shameful that when I see an interview with Stefano Pilati in a magazine, I devour it in an instant. 

I say shameful only because I get the feeling that a lot of designers don’t want to be ‘devoured’ in that way and only want their work to do the talking…  

This was even more apparent when I went to see a screening of Roger Burton’s ‘Vive le Punk’ at The Horse Hospital on Tuesday.  It is the only recorded interview of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, filmed in 1993 at the opening of the Vive Le Punk exhibition which effectively started The Horse Hospital venue. 

It was slightly eerie that the interview was filmed in the very room I was watching it in but even more remarkable that the interview was MOSTLY very candid.  Both McLaren and Westwood talking about the beginnings of their store Let it Rock on Kings Road, turning into SEX, Seditionaries and eventually Worlds End (the store was designed by Roger Burton). 

The camera work is very basic to say the least, the sound quality isn’t great but all in all, it’s perfectly imperfect because those tidbits were all there, such as the teddy boys who came to the Let it Rock store and trashed the place. 


Or the pedantic people who would come to the store not to buy anything but just to say that teddy boy fluorescent socks were the wrong shade of pink. 

Or the chicken bones that Vivienne laboriously boiled up so that they would crystalise and she could use them to make slogan t-shirts. 

The SEX store that appealed to fetish groups who organised those days of walking around London in full on fetish gear,  the obscene t-shirts that got Westwood and McLaren arrested.  A genuine speech by Westwood that was full of genuine feeling about the environmental state of the world, taking into account she said this 15 years ago, it’s interesting to see that she has now doctored this into something of a manifesto.


Reading the article in LTEC, and having seen all the aforementioned fashion documentaries, it does strike me that trying to cream the truth from a designer isn’t easy.  There are very noticeable flaws within all those films in their representations of the designers and this is down to of course what facets the designers themselves deem ‘screenable’. 

Even in Vive Le Punk, something very VERY fly-on-the-wall, I could see a little of McLaren checking himself before he said something.  So, if the whole truth is never going to come out, and we only get beautiful facets along with facts that the designers themselves want to showcase in these films, then beautiful visions of designers by various film directors is the best we can hope for and I, for one, am clamouring for more…

So much so that I came up with some fantasy fashion film combos that would really get the DVD expenditure going…    

Alber Elbaz directed by Sofia Coppola

Coppola might only be interested in telling stories about girls in different transient stages in their lives, but I think she’d have a thing or two to say about a man who so many women want to be dressed by.  Plus, I feel like there’d be many a quirk to come from this teddy bear of a man that would be compelling.

Boudicca directed by Anton Corbijn

So ‘Control’ got panned as a bit too ‘style-over-substance’but since I feel Boudicca has A LOT of substance behind their designs (delve into their website and you’ll see what I mean…), I think a deft stylish hand from Corbijn would strike a perfect balance.


Gareth Pugh directed by Alistair Allan

The Dirty Dirty Dancing photographer is actually embarking on his first film project this year and seeing as the two are familiar with each other, it would seem almost a piece of cake to get a film together that would flow and speed through London’s East End.

Bernhard Willhelm directed by Michel Gondry

I get the feeling Gondry’s imagination would go into overdrive once Willhelm lets him into his Antwerpian world.  I want crafty DIY projects made by both director and designer, and the clothes to be animated in the way that I always imagine whenever I see a Bernhard Willhelm collection.

Rodarte directed by Rian Johnson

They’re both delightfully unexpected surprises from America, and up and coming.  They both take dark subject matter and make it look beautiful.  Something amazing could happen here, which makes me feel a certain tingling in my distressed, holey crocheted tights-clad legs.

Peter Jensen directed by Wes Anderson

I’m thinking they both share a love of moleskin notebads filled with sketches.  Jensen could provide Anderson with a lot of superb props that he has a knack for employing as one of the characters in his films.  I’d look forward to buying a carefully selected soundtrack.

Pray tell, what would be your fantasy fashion documentary?