The Gospel According to André is a new documentary about the former American editor-at-large of Vogue magazine, André Leon Talley. From the segregated American South to the fashion capitals of the world, The Gospel According to André Covers Talley’s life and career.
Directed by Kate Novack, The Gospel According to André features the likes of Vogue Magazine Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, fashion designers Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, and Valentino, fashion activist / model Bethann Hardison and shoe designer Manolo Blahnik.
I’m in because I’m quite curious about Mr. Talley. I also love love the artistry present in high fashion.
House Of Z, the Sandy Chronopoulos directed documentary about the life and career of fashion designer Zac Posen is an interesting watch. Especially for those curious about the nature and challenges of working in the fashion industry as a designer.
Featuring video footage of a young Posen’s early life and interviews with his collaborators, family and friends, House Of Z does an adequate job of painting a clear picture that shows us more than just the creations that speak of Posen’s undeniable talent. We learn about just how instrumental the support of his family was in his early success. We also learn about what went wrong, Posen’s eventual fall from grace followed by an update of what the designer is doing now.
If you’ve seen one or more fashion films or documentaries, you can probably guess that the classic battle between art and commerce is covered in this film. The general rule being that bad things happen when that relationship isn’t managed well.
House of Z is not a perfect documentary – in part because some of the editing early on in the film felt quite awkward. But should you be curious enough, watch it for Posen’s artistry – the magnificent dresses and the cautionary tale about the relationship between art plus commerce and finding success at a young age.
The part of House Of Z that I enjoyed most is of course when I got to look at Posen’s truly breathtaking early designs, just as the fashion world was beginning to pay attention. I also liked the beautiful words of Joseph Campbell at the end about ‘following your bliss’.
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.
For all lovers of art, especially art that comes in the shape of fashion, today’s trailer is for a documentary about 2015’s Met Ball.
Directed by Andrew Rossi, the film follows Vogue Magazine’s Editor-in Chief, Anna Wintour. She takes us along for an exclusive behind the scenes look at the planning and organisation of one of fashion’s most prestigious annual events. One that brings together the most celebrated figures in fashion, music, film and art…
I’ll be watching for all the art involved. That and the expected ups and downs that go with organising a gathering as big as the Met Gala.
First Monday In May will open at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 13, 2016.