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Fashion! Documentaries from ARTE tv

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Fashion! Documentaries from ARTE tv

Post by xyz on Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:52 pm

Fashion! Documentary ARTE tv in french (original)
About how fashion becomes institutional big time starting from the 80s.

Part1: JP Gaultier, Claude Montana, Azzedine Alaia, Thierry Mugler



Part2: Anti-Fashion Heroes



Part3: On Big Daddy higher power conglomerates, LVMH and PPR : Dior, Louis Vuitton, Galliano, McQueen, Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, Tom Ford etc



Lovely documentary showing how things actually changed (or not) in 30 years time. Enjoyed watching it a lot, hope most of you understand french, some bits are in english also from time to time. Video material is epic.


Last edited by e_a on Wed May 15, 2013 12:05 am; edited 8 times in total
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part 1

Post by xyz on Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:56 pm

Synopsis and quick translation from french to english to get the point of the documentary and understand the history:

In part 1, based on the examples of Gaultier, Mugler, Alaia and Montana, they show the early 80s, and somewhat the beginning of mainstream interest towards fashion.

There is a huge reference of how political changes in that period influenced the positive course towards the open-mindedness of general public. There is key fragment from the Ministry of Culture in France, declaring that fashion shall be regarded with more attention as part of national Art and Culture, and that government shall supply all necessary platforms for it. It also describes that the Paris Fashion Week, as an event, started becoming more influential and strong and international with the involvement of the designers from abroad, such as Yohji and Rei (also coming to Paris in early 80s) and huge international media attention followed. And as the result fashion became international mainstream pop culture. Consumption and interest were high. Designers started expending and selling not only on local scale, but also nationally as buyers and stores started ordering even in smaller provincial cities.

It shows young Gaultier running around humble streets of Paris in his super modern designs and asking random people their opinions about his skirt/pants and how comfortable and cool and fun that is. Also his first licensing deals in perfumery department (and as i remember properly from my earlier researches 80s were all about hardcore licensing business model for the designers). Got seriously involved in celebrity culture with for example Madonna and constant participations on TV.

Mugler's example was all about "theatre spectacular" in fashion. He took the shows to the next level and started making big happenings and space performances out of it. Also launches a success story of perfumery that marks the end of his success story in fashion.

Montana's example is all about urban commercial wear and first signs of selling out and selling his brand to stronger sharks, losing interest in fashion entirely.

While Alaia dresses up A-list celebrities such as Tina Turner and Grace Jones, despite his success and acclaim, totally ignores the hype of the moment and is not interested in making a big business out of it. Decides to stay local and until this day he's totally loyal to himself. Very humble and down-to-earth personality.

So part 1 is about the first major unification of Paris Fashion Week and first serious signs of fashion becoming huge business as we know it today. Also mentions Chanel hiring Karl, and Versace building a luxury empire at that period as a contradiction to Alaia's case and decision.

................
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part 2

Post by xyz on Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:57 pm

That is the reason why Part 2 starts with Versace. And as an antidote introduces the world of Anti-Fashion designers, the new wave, who look into creating beautiful things from imperfection. Luckily most interviews are in english with dubbed french. And the main point of Part 2 is 90s and that, in a contradiction to mainstream pleasing general taste fashion designers, so called Anti-Fashion designers drive their inspiration from negative and disturbed cultural references, that way their designs are more personal and there is a a sense of soul in them, and that way it is easier to relate to their work. Fashion turns slowly into Art.

Starts with describing how the arrival of Yohji and Rei stores changed the whole retail approach, in terms of interior design and whole presentation of clothes, which might seem expected from fashion boutique today, in that period was totally innovative. The way hangers were placed exactly 5 cm from each other and the whole experience turned monumental, and customers were considering it as offensive joke to pay those price tags for, in their opinion, unfinished garments. The aim of japanese designers was not only about esthetic vision but mostly about comfort while wearing those clothes. But despite all misunderstanding, men and women interested in self-development and questionings, such as intellectuals and creatives, understood the approach of designers very well and started reconsidering the description of luxury.

After Japan influence comes Belgium. Ann's interview is in french - she speaks about rebellion and being 19 years old, you think about changing the world, and making your own future, so her departure point was rebellion in a first place. She says that before the Antwerp Six their was no fashion culture in Belgium, and they were the first, which was comforting enough since there was no pressure or expectations. They were very young and very motivated to change the world.

But the first one to change it was Martin Margiela who started as Gaultier's assistant (lovely to see Martin and JP working together, great footage). Gaultier was always of a high opinion about Martin's work and always encouraged him to go his own ways and start his brand, but Martin insisted that he is not ready yet, he wants to understand how business works, he needs time, he will go when he feels like it, and eventually he separated from Gaultier and started developing his painting all white recycled anonymous esthetic and obviously he shocked the establishment. Gaultier still considers Margiela as his best assistant ever.

Ann says they were friends with Martin, but since he took his vow of anonymity she has not heard from him for 20-25 years, which is entirely his decision.

Ann speaks about personal approach, that mostly she does it for herself. Firstly she wanted to be ready for Paris, so she decided to have a child first and then orient her fashion towards Paris. And like any other artist, music or art, she wishes to pass an emotion through her product.

And despite all the advertisement and rise of supermodels huge interest was towards Helmut Lang and his minimalism totally influenced by architecture - everything was new and never seen before in his work, every time he presented something. His use of materials was never conventional. And then Internet arrives. And Helmut moves to NYC and exploits the idea of technology. And as Helmut minimalism was easier to wear than concepts of japanese and belgium designers it was a huge success in NYC.

Then there is a different kind of minimalism proposed by Jil Sander for dressing up power women. And in the contradiction to the 80s large shoulders and Rei's refusal of feminine silhouettes Jil's plan is making power women dress like men but with luxurious fabrics. That's when the lesbian chic comes to place.

Then when a big logo boom started and big daddies like LVMH started noticing designers and even hiring some as Galliano, McQueen, there were still examples of non-commercial anti-fashion rebellion such as of Hussein Chalayan, whose main inspiration was an arrival of a new millenium

While new wave designers propose their esthetics in mainly Black and White, Rei is experimenting with colours in a radical way. All her shows are bombs and lead to never seen before directions and questioning the traditional description of beauty. And as the response to her radical style came radical communication as well, and she stopped giving interviews. But in opposition to Rei's eccentrism Yohji remains somber and concentrates on a melange between french and japanese couture techniques.

In commercial world of fashion everything is dandy, as Galliano and McQueen boosted sales, LVMH and PPR are seriously considering young designers. LV hires Jacobs, GUCCI hires Ford. This kind of mutation in Fashion World did not leave Anti-Fashion designers intact. Brands like Jil's and Helmut's with solid amount of sales were obliged to be supported and eventually were bought out by Prada.

Raf Simons - " If you are married to Prada, you need to make high heels. Or if you are married to Arnault, you have to make a bag. I can understand why any one decides to quit fashion with no problem!"

Helmut leaves his fashion house to concentrate on contemporary art and as an emphasis of his decision cuts of the heads of statues from his New York store and uses his designs archive of 6000 pieces of clothes as a material for his other installations and sculptures. Jil Sander follows the trend of leaving her own namesake brand. This way Raf Simons becomes a first Anti-Fashion designer to work under the name of other Anti-Fashion designer.

Ann is asked if she could work for a bigger fashion house, for which her answer is that technically she is capable with no problem, but she will never do, she was asked once but she refused the offer. And her answer is that she feels she is very pure and she feels its more normal that Ann is making Ann. And it takes all her energy. And 20 years after her debuts she is still independent financially and stylistically. She says that her major departure is not money, obviously business shall be sustainable in order to be able to continue the designing, but her major motivation is making people feel nice and more beautiful, not only in clothes but also in interior and soul. That what was so exciting to her about the world of fashion. And now looking at what it have become, she feels very upset. The impression of what she had before, 25 years ago when she started, and what she experiences now in 2010 are completely different and opposite worlds.

While ones make easy podiums, others make resistance. But Margiela eventually gets bought out by Diesel. On his 20th fashion house anniversary while most expected the retrospective presentation of his best looks he throws a usual innovative design party and slowly leaves the house, turns the page and entirely disappears from the fashion radar.

Despite all the business trends, in the beginning of 2000, an american in Paris manages to turn an Anti-Fashion approach into a success story. Supported by Vogue Rick Owens started showing in Paris in 2003. And managed to build a business baring his own name while remaining totally independent. And today when we see that the flame of Anti-Fashion brands might be slowly dying out, but on the contrary still remains intact due to the hard working effort of certain pure and strong designer personalities, our question is can these anti fashion brands still be alive after the departure of their creators.

Ann: It is a difficult question. But it is easy and understandable if the creator says no, no creator no brand, you can say that and i will understand you. But at the same time there is already a great deal of work done and strong vision developed and if for example creator dies, and other people, who understand the style very well, continue it in the same tradition, then it is something beautiful and all that work is not lost. It can continue.

Part 3 will be about Big Daddy conglomerates (LVMH and PPR) and their corporate fashion business approach. It's already out but i cannot find it online yet.
So if anyone finds a french version please post a link (there is a german version as well, but french seems more understandable).

So yeah, great documentary, waiting for the part 3. And it does describe logically and well a brief history of fashion and how it officially turned into a whole independent institution with its own language, views and laws.
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