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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

REEL Fashion at FIAF/MFIT - Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton

Tuesday evening, I watched the first of three film screenings of fashion documentaries by Loic Prigent.  The director followed designer Marc Jacobs from New York, Asia and Paris to document his work process.  The film showed the creative journey from embroidery to dying fabric, then bleaching the garment for a destroyed affect.  It showed artisans all over the studio experimenting with pressing, washing, burning, tearing and steaming a flower to achieve just the right look.

I really enjoyed how the film captured the endless all-night work sessions and how much a collection is a team effort.  It did not attempt to glamorize it and showed off the skills and dedication of his staff.  The contrast between Marc Jacob's relaxed New York office and the much more formal French Louis Vuitton offices were an interesting observation on the culture gap.

I had the opportunity of working with Marc Jacobs briefly in the mid 1990's as an embroidery vendor.  He was one of the fellow Parsons alumni who was remembered fondly by past teachers.  He was always sweet, polite and funny.  Since then, he has become an international celebrity that fashionistas swoon over.  It's nice to see that despite the fame and the much bigger business that rides upon him, that his personality has barely changed.

Director Loic Prigent was available for a Q & A afterward.  The film did not take itself or the fashion world too seriously.  The subjects were able to view themselves in a bittersweet or humorous light.  Mr. Prigent confirmed that the designer was indeed as nice off-camera as he was on.  He recounted how Marc Jacobs teared up while watching the montage of himself calling upon his assistant Joseph.  It made him realize how truly indispensable he truly was.

Coming up Thursday, the film will be "The Day Before: Prouenza Schouler" about the designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough.   Q & A available after the screening as well with the director.

The Day Before: Proenza Schouler (2009) ~ Director: Loïc Prigent
Thursday, February 23, 6pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheatre
Fred P. Pomerantz Art and Design Center, first floor
Admission is FREE with RSVP here.

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