Between last week's tulle-athon and this week's stock market crisis, I've been needing to chill, and there's nothing that relaxes me more than popping a video in my DVD-drive and watching a good fashion flick.
I've always had a thing for movies centered on the fashion world. Of course Funny Face is a favorite, starring an impossibly chic Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, and featuring gorgeous French scenery, fabulous Givenchy gowns, Gershwin songs, plus appearances by legendary Fifties models Suzy Parker and Dovima!
The opening number, "Think Pink," is a knock-out -- wonderful, campy fun!
Less entertaining, but still essential viewing, is the 1944 film adaptation of the musical Lady in the Dark, which I wrote about a long time ago here. Ginger Rogers isn't really right for the role of a repressed fashion magazine editor undergoing psychoanalysis, but the forties clothes and lush technicolor are superb.
Another fashion movie fave is Maghogany starring Diana Ross, from the early 70's. It's a mess of a film, but full of fabulous Seventies fashion and campy, over-the-top performances. It's best known, perhaps, for the song "Do You Know Where You're Going To?" (see video below)
Anyway, just look what I picked up at the library yesterday!
I'd been wanting to see The September Issue, the 2009 documentary about Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, for some time. I don't know too much about Coco Before Chanel starring Audrey Tatou. but the reviews on Amazon are largely positive ones. Have you seen it?
I also found the first three seasons of Mad Men -- I've never seen a single episode! I know that's not about fashion per se, but it certainly has had an effect on the contemporary fashion world (and inspires many a vintage sewing blog).
Last night I watched The September Issue and I found it fascinating. One hears so much about how awful Anna Wintour is (especially in The Devil Wears Prada -- a rotten film) but I actually found her likable here, though clearly not as warm as Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington. Wintour is obviously driven to put out the best magazine possible and is under a great deal of pressure to perform -- which she does, month after month. There were many moments when I sensed that beneath Wintour's chilly facade there's a complicated, sympathetic human being with a lot of -- excuse the pun -- issues.
The September Issue is glamorous (as you might expect), compelling, and fair. Fashion is a tough business and you don't rise to the top of it by being a soft touch -- which definitely comes across in the film.
In closing, friends, what are some of your favorite fashion movies?
Anything that changed your view of fashion -- or even your personal style?
I'm a native New Yorker and sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using vintage sewing machines and vintage patterns, in addition to sewing for private clients. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!