News & Runway


The Sundance Channel always comes out on top when it comes to fashion-related documentary programming during New York Fashion Week.

In seasons past, they’ve aired the Rodolphe Marconi-directed Lagerfeld Confidential – a documentary film following Karl Lagerfeld over the course of three years, which included backstage scenes at Chanel and a lunch with Princess Caroline. 

Also, the David Teboul-directed Yves St. Laurent: 5 Avenue Marceau 75116 Paris (the companion piece to Yves St. Laurent: Time Regained), which elucidated the creation of the last women’s wear collection St. Laurent presented in 2001.  The film marked the first time that the iconic and notoriously shy designer allowed cameras to observe the evolution of his vision. And of course, the Sundance Channel aired the much heralded Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton documentary, which followed MJ in the making of the Spring 2008 Louis Vuitton collection. To kick off New York Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 2010 season, the Sundance Channel has now outdone itself. They will be airing four riveting documentary films, each of which offer behind the scenes glimpses into the 36 hours before one of four of fashion’s most highly-anticipated shows. 

On September 9th at 10pm ET/PT, one day prior to the start of New York Fashion Week, the channel will be premiering “The Day Before” – a four part original fashion series that gives viewers a rare inside look at the creative process, drama, complications, problems, and stresses leading up to a large scale runway show. 

The series is from director Loic Prigent of Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton, and each hour long installment follows one of four acclaimed designers – Sonia Rykiel, Jack McCollough and Lazara Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, Karl Lagerfeld for Fendi, and Jean Paul Gaultier’s Paris Couture Show.

I had the chance to see screenings of The Day Before Proenza Schouler and The Day Before Sonia Rykiel, both which were enthralling in their own unique ways. The Sonia Rykiel film revolved around the flame-haired Parisian designer’s 40th anniversary show, which was the big-ticket show when I was in Paris last October. We get a unique look at the dynamic between the legendary designer, her daughter and president of the house, Nathalie Rykiel, and the then newly-appointed creative director Gabrielle Greiss (who left the house after 18 month, this past April). The dynamic between the three is best summarized by Rykiel herself when she remarks – “I passed the baton, but I kept a hand on the baton.” The designer clearly struggles with letting go of her namesake house which made me think of Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary, Valentino: The Last Emperor. 

In contrast to that film, The Day Before Proenza Schouler focuses on two young designers who, while extremely successful, are still heading towards their peak. They must be a lot more cost conscious and, unlike Rykiel who is now mostly involved in final approval stages, the Proenza Schouler boys are fiercely involved with everything that hits the runway. Their passion for what they do truly comes through in this film and gives a new appreciation for all that goes into putting together a runway show of this magnitude. I can’t wait to catch the last two installments of the series!

Full schedule below:

The Day Before Sonia Rykiel

Premieres Wednesday, September 9th at 10pm ET/PT

The Day Before Proenza Schouler

Premieres Wednesday, September 10th at 10pm ET/PT

The Day Before Karl Lagerfeld

Premieres Wednesday, September 11th at 10pm ET/PT

The Day Before Jean Paul Gaultier

Premieres Wednesday, September 12th at 10pm ET/PT