Posted in Reviews

Lagerfeld Confidential

Well I guess it’s that time again. This time I watched Lagerfeld Confidential. After watching Coco Before Chanel I decided I wanted to learn more about Chanel. More specifically how the brand has evolved from what it was when Coco Chanel started it, to what is has become today. Not to mention Karl Lagerfeld is a creative genius and huge influence. So why not try and get inside his head a little?

Nobody learns anything from success. You only learn from your mistakes.

Let me just say, I LOVED it. Karl Lagerfeld is so fascinating! As we know, Karl Lagerfeld is the head designer and creative director of Chanel, thus making him one of the most influential fashion designers in the world. That’s not all he does! He also has his own line, Karl Lagerfeld and he designs for Fendi. No big deal or anything. He is also responsible for turning the company around. When he took on Chanel it was a dying brand. However, he skillfully turned that around.

Karl Lagerfeld is actually quite funny, which surprised me. I guess designers have a reputation for being assholes so I figured he wouldn’t be any different. Boy, was I wrong! “I hate hard workers. Things must appear to be casual.” WHAT?!?

Also, with all the responsibility and pressure he carries I figured he would constantly be consumed in thoughts of the future. Wrong. He very much lives in the present. He states that he does not go to bed thinking of fashion. It consumes his subconscious but he does not “obsess about dresses.”

Because I love change; I'm attatched to nothing.

What makes him so great, beside the fact that he’s insanely creative, is that he is incredibly decisive. In this business that is crucial. It’s always, “on to the next.” He has a vision. He creates these beautiful ideas and sketches, makes a collection, shows it, then moves on. He is very detached. He understands that fashion is ephemeral; it’s always changing.

The best reveal is that he wants to create an image that he is “ghost-like”, not real. He doesn’t even want to be “that present” in his closest friends and families’ lives. He says, “I don’t want to be a reality in people’s lives. I want to be like an apparition.” So he carefully conjures this image of himself that he puts on for the public: the uniform of black and white, the pony tail, the rings, the sunglasses, etc. He doesn’t even want to be filmed without his sunglasses on while he reads!

Overall, I highly recommend this film! The story line terribly strong but it’s gives perspective on the visionary that is Karl Lagerfeld. With that said, I guess it’s on to the next…

Posted in Reviews

Valentino: The Last Emperor

I know what women want. They want to be beautiful.
The next destination on my fashion documentary journey was Valentino: The Last Emperor. The best description of this film was written by Stephen Holden. He said “watching the movie [Valentino: The Last Emperor] is a little like gorging on chocolate and Champagne until that queasy moment arrives when you realize you’ve consumed far too much.” Truer words have never been spoken. Valentino: The Last Emperor documents Garavani Valentino, the man behind Valentino (duh, right?). He knew he was destined to become a designer since he was a little boy. Valentino leads an incredibly self-indulgent and extraordinary lifestyle, so it’s no wonder that his designs reflect that. He creates these beautiful decadent dresses intended for the creme-de-la-creme of women and red-carpet events.

This movie gives a glimpse into the glamorous life of Valentino Garavani. Glamourous doesn’t even begin to describe just how exquisite the world he lives in is. The movie follows Valentino to a few of his luxurious palaces, his yacht and his private jet. It also documents his six scrawny little pugs. Additionally it features a few interactions between Valentino and his business partner/lover, Giancarlo Giammetti. Some of which are the highlights of this film.

Their best conversation was:

Valentino: How was I? Tell me the truth.
Giancarlo Giammetti: OK, I’ll tell you. You look a little bit too tan.
Valentino: Tan? No.
Giancarlo Giametti: A little less wouldn’t hurt.

To be honest I don’t have much to say about this documentary. I don’t feel particularly enlightened or inspired but it was certainly fun to watch. So if you wanna see someone living the high life whilst toting around six adorable pugs then this is definitely the documentary for you.

Posted in Reviews

Coco Before Chanel

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.
Watching The September Issue prompted me to start watching more fashion documentaries and films. In the last week I’ve watched The September Issue twice, Valentino: The Last Empire, and Coco Before Chanel. While I know that this movie was biopic and not a documentary it was certainly informative. The thing is, I’ve never been to interested in Coco Chanel or Chanel’s history. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chanel. Chanel’s pieces are incredible, immaculate, and they will always be in style. But everyone loves Coco Chanel. I have met so many Coco Chanel fans that it turned me off from delving deeper into her life. Which is quite tragic seeing as I went to Paris this summer and we went by Coco Chanel’s first apartment and her first store. Oh well, I’d rather learn about a more controversial (and less safe) designer like Vivienne Westwood. I know, Coco Chanel has changed fashion forever but I just wasn’t very interested. What can I say, I like to be different.
Maybe she's the reason I love stripes so much.
However, I am glad my neighbor talked me into seeing it. The movie follows Coco Chanel’s from her life as a cabaret singer, through her early years as a hat designer, to becoming a full blown fashion designer and having a runway show. Coco Chanel saw the world through different eyes. She was disgusted by how these upper class women let men dictate the way they should dress. She hated the way they dressed in these decadent, extravagant, constricting costumes. She thought things needed to be simpler. She raided the closet of the man she was living with and began to sew her own garments. She liberated herself from the restrictiveness of the women’s clothing at the time. She refused to wear a corset even though that meant “not having shape.” In essence she pioneered the idea of the “modern woman.”

The film doesn’t focus as much on the fashion design aspect of Chanel’s life as much as it focuses on her evolution as person that led her to become the powerful and influential fashion designer. It shows how certain events in her life led her to becoming such a powerful woman which ultimately made her a distinct and avant-garde designer. Coco was a very headstrong and stubborn woman. She was never going to let a man define her, and throughout her entire life, she never did.

All in all I feel like I really bonded with Coco Chanel over this two hour film. I really got to know her on a whole new level. Turns out we are more alike than I previously thought. Coco Chanel wasn’t afraid of being different and going against the norm. She believed in style and class, yet she didn’t believe in following trends blindly. She believed that style means dressing to suit your body and personality. It’s ok to be unique and be yourself.


Posted in Reviews

The September Issue

The September Issue is a documentary that follows Anna Wintour and the entire Vogue crew as they take on the task of producing their largest and most important issue of the year. This documentary demonstrates just how powerful and influential Anna Wintour is on the entire fashion industry. The camera crews follow her as she consults designers on their upcoming collections. As the CEO of Neiman Marcus pleads with her to try and speed up the production of designers collections and the time it takes their stores to receive their shipments. As her and Grace argue over which images to use for their editorial spreads. Yes, Rachel Zoe may influence what celebrities wear, but Anna Wintour influences the actual designs that they are wearing. Anna influences what is actually produced by the designers. Without her, the celebrities would have pieces to wear. To further illustrate just how powerful Anna is, R.J Cutler the director and producer of the documentary said:

“Well, you can make a film in Hollywood without Steven Spielberg’s blessing, and you can publish software in Silicon Valley without Bill Gates’ blessing, but it’s pretty clear to me that you can’t succeed in the fashion industry without Anna Wintour’s blessing.”

Fashion isn't about looking back. It's always about looking forward.
This was my second time seeing the film and I must admit I loved it even more the second time around. It was just as inspirational, motivational, and amazing as the first time I saw it. First of all, I fucking love Andre Leon Talley. He is hilarious and I really think he needs his own reality show. (I’ve even gotten my friend to fall in love with him through his guest appearances on America’s Next Top Model). Second of all, I think it’s apparent that I have a thing for cold heartless bitches, as I’ve previously mentioned how strongly I admire Kelly Cutrone. One of my favorite parts of the film is when Anna Wintour, without hesitation, tells the camera guy that his photo needs some re-touching in the belly area or he needs to start hitting the gym. Anna Wintour, like Kelly Cutrone is brutally honest. But that’s what I love about her. She is decisive, opinionated, and confident. Three qualities I am not. I guess what it comes down to is that I just love bitches. Because bitches get things done.


Posted in Reviews

If You Have to Cry, Go Outside

We’re all hookers in one way or another

I just finished reading Kelly Cutrone’s book, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You. It’s a pretty good book and definitely an easy read. To be honest, this is probably the first book I’ve actually finished reading (that wasn’t assigned reading) in about a year. If you want to know what life is like in the fashion industry it definitely paints a realistic picture. Although I’d have to say, her show Kell on Earth gives a better preview of the ruthless, fast-paced nature of the PR world.

Even if you’re not interested in fashion or PR. This book is very empowering and inspiring for women. It’s all about harnessing your inner power bitch to attain your dreams. I have interned for IMG Fashion over the past few years during fashion week which has allowed me the opportunity to see Kelly Cutrone in her element a.k.a. on the runways in LA and NY: doing run-throughs with the models, etc.

NY Fashion Week Feb 2009 - Interns

Many people are quick to say she is too bitchy or too ruthless; but I find a certain level of comfort in her blunt leadership style. Maybe it’s because her confidence and brutal honestly somewhat remind me of my mother (in a good way). Or maybe it’s due to all those years of playing sports that taught me to play better and work harder when someone was yelling at me or constantly critiquing my choices. But mostly I just like that Kelly cuts the bullshit. It’s people like her who inspire me, not just in terms of work but also in terms of life in general. Nothing is more refreshing than a person who accepts who they are and embraces it.

“We’re constantly getting these messages to mind our own business and look the other way if we want to be well liked, to not tell the truth or speak our mind or say anything too intense. Well, I’m telling you here that this approach not only makes you party to other people’s crimes against themselves but is a prescription for mediocrity and delusion.”

Although my mom vehemently disagrees one thing Kelly strongly recommends is following your dreams. Even if it means not knowing how you will pay next months rent. As I am still young and very naive I strongly believe (and hope) that if you do what you love, the money will come eventually. This story has affirmed that belief. It’s not necessarily going to be easy but you shouldn’t be afraid to pursue your dreams.