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5 documentaries to know more about the PFW brands

From the one following Dior Haute Couture collection by Raf Simons to the project dedicated to Vivienne Westwood

5 documentaries to know more about the PFW brands From the one following Dior Haute Couture collection by Raf Simons to the project dedicated to Vivienne Westwood

The Paris Fashion Week dedicated to the FW19 has just begun. In the dense calendar of events will alternate giants of the fashion system such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Valentino, in constant competition between them to remind us with blows of clothes the reasons why their creations have made the history of costume and society. If before the fashion shows were one of the few means at our disposal to get to know the work of these brands, in the contemporary era of Netflix and streaming the fashion documentaries have arrived. These projects, often beautiful and interesting like a real film, have the merit of giving us back a new image of designers and companies, showing us unprecedented backstage glimpses, work in progress, making us explore the creative process of the collections and the human side of those who materially realize them. nss suggests 5 fashion documentaries see to get ready for PFW: from the famous Dior and I who follows the work of Raf Simons at the French fashion house to Dries, the short film that tells the artistic vision of one of the shyest designers ever.


Dior & I 

In April 2012 Raf Simons moved from Creative Director of Jil Sander to Dior brand. His debut is scheduled in July with the Haute Couture. The Belgian designer has only 8 weeks to create the collection from nothing and convince an audience ready to underline his every mistake. Frédéric Tcheng's camera follows Simons in this difficult and frenetic period, interspersing testimonies of stars like Marion Cotillard, Sharon Stone and Anna Wintour, with scenes of work in progress that document the study of Christian Dior's creations preserved in the archives, Raf's passion for contemporary art, his fears for the new role and the relationship with the tailors of the ateliers.


The Balmain Style

Next September a new documentary on the life and career of Olivier Rousteing should be released. The project, produced by the same team of Valentino: Last Emperor and originally planned for the first months of 2019, will trace the journey to the success of the young designer: his childhood in Bordeaux, his studies at the ESMOD (Ecole Supéreurie des Art et Tecniques de la Mode), the first engagement of Roberto Cavalli in 2003 and the adventure by Balmain, started at the age of 25 by replacing Christophe Decarnin as creative director. Waiting to see how all this will be told, we can console ourselves with The Balmain Style. The 2014 documentary directed by Loic Prigent, already behind the camera for Signé Chanel, interweaves historical foundations of the founder, Pierre Balmain, with the modern stylistic vision of Rousteing struggling with the creation of the FW 2014 collection.



"Nobody has discovered Alexander McQueen. Alexander McQueen has discovered himself ".

This is one of the phrases that we hear repeated in the short film by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui. These words continue to echo in the mind while in front of our eyes flow images of the English designer and his story, including unpublished footage and backstage. No guest stars, only family members, friends and close associates. The voice of those who really met him tell anecdotes and moments of a man who with his talent and his unique imagination in which romance, perversion, macabre and grotesque coexisted forever marked the history of fashion. In the documentary there are the beginnings of McQueen from apprentice by Savile Row, the experience from Romeo Gigli, archival material, fashion shows and, above all, his collections, the best way to understand who Lee Alexander McQueen was, as he himself said :

"If you want to know me, look at my work ... If you leave without feeling emotions, it means that I have not done my job well".


Westwood - Punk. Icon. Activist.

Lorna Tucker talks through archival footage and unreleased footage of Vivienne Westwood and its many sides. For the first time a feature film outlines the traits of one of the most controversial, inspiring and important characters in contemporary fashion, restoring the image of a self-made woman, not inclined to follow rules and trends, an authentic rebel who built just a brand, a company and a style. There are very few archival footage documenting his rise from the '70s to the present and recall some of the most significant moments of his life: the transfer to London, the meeting with Malcolm McLaren, the opening of the famous SEX boutique of Kings Road, the first punk-sadomaso creations, the struggle to get his talent recognized, the relationship with partner and husband Andreas Kronthaler and much more.

A fan fact: it seems that Dame Vivienne is not enthusiastic about the final result of the project, guilty according to the designer to be trivial and to have devoted little space to his side of political activist and ecologist.



"The word fashion, I don't like because fashion means something okay which is over after six months. I would like to find a word which is more timeless."

It is the phrase pronounced by Dries Van Noten in the trailer of Dries, the 2017 documentary by Reiner Holzemer. More than thirty years after his debut with the Six of Antwerp, the shy designer lets himself be filmed again, showing a year of his life. The camera follows him while working on four collections, including the spring-summer 2015 inspired by Ophelia, presented with the famous parade with models that in the end lay on the catwalk transformed into a grassy expanse. A sort of painting by Manet that exemplifies the magic and beauty of Van Noten's work.