There are three key reasons to see director Andrew Rossi’s documentary about the planning and organisation of 2015’s MET Gala, a.k.a. one of fashion’s most prestigious annual events. Reason one is the beautiful pieces of clothing designed by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano and Jean-Paul Gaultier. If like myself you have an appreciation for the art and dedication that goes into creating extraordinarily beautiful clothing, plus you adore the sensory experience of it all, Watch The First Monday In May.
Reason number two is Anna Wintour. Who cannot be impressed by her? She’s arguably one of the most influential individuals in fashion; editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine (for the last 28 years) and the woman responsible for overseeing the planning and organisation of the MET Gala. My curiosity about Wintour isn’t just because The Devil Wears Prada (2006) is based on her. I wanted to see her operate as I did in The September Issue (2009) and reflect on all it must have taken to reach her goals and maintain her position.
As for reason number three, I’ve never enjoyed event planning. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a good time watching other people do all the work and handle all the stresses, politics and deadlines that come with it. The First Monday In May has all of that, plus it’s well-paced, edited and accompanied by fitting tension building music.
I went into this documentary expecting a sizeable chunk of it to focus on Wintour, when in fact, the person whose ideas and overall vision form the theme and content of the exhibition – plus the overall look and feel is Andrew Bolton, Curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Fret not however, for there’s still focus on Wintour as she goes about delegating, praising and calling out mediocre efforts where necessary.
To fashion, Anna Wintour, style, costume, MET Gala and art fans, etc. you know you have to watch. Plus there’s interesting conversation about whether fashion can really be taken seriously as art.
Happy Film Loving