Fashion Icon Carine Roitfeld looks chic in every frame of the fashion documentary, Mademoiselle C. She has that effortless, Parisian style that’s artful in its simplicity and inimitable in its elegance. At 58, she’s aging gracefully, while many of her American counterparts rely on help of the surgical kind. It’s easy to understand why she was the muse of Tom Ford, stylist for Photographer Mario Testino, and editor of Vogue Paris. What’s hard to understand is why little more about her seems worthy of a documentary.
It’s a significant moment in time: Vogue magazine’s celebrating its 120th anniversary. And Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour brings fashion editors, past and present, out from behind the pages of the tony fashion magazine for a photo shoot by Annie Liebovitz. The resulting image appears in the 2012 September issue, and shows a formidable group of women representing five-plus decades of fashion editors from the magazine, including Grace Coddington, Tonne Goodman, Polly Allen Mellen, Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Camilla Nickerson, Phyllis Posnick and Babs Simpson. The fashion documentary, In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye, showcases these industry leaders, who are celebrated for their inimitable fashion spreads for Vogue and who Wintour calls the magazine’s “secret weapons”.
Most of the films that we review at sharmbaa are a celebration of the world of fashion. Whether we’re watching the romanticism of troubled genius Yves Saint Laurent, or reveling at the personal expression of style-maven Iris Apfel, or savoring a sneak-peek into the rarified world of the atelier of the House of Dior, the films all contain heavy doses of fantasy and escapism. Both jive well with how the fashion industry wants to see itself and the image it works to project to the world.
The usual superlatives apply to the models in the fashion documentary, Top Models: Made in Paris. They’re all leggy, young, beautiful and skinny. What sets the women apart is that they are of multiracial descent. The film focuses on how this distinction often limits the opportunities they are afforded in the Parisian fashion industry. We follow the the models from catwalk to photo shoot to casting call, as they are confronted by strange projections from insiders in the fashion industry about who they are supposed to be because of their ethnicity.
The fashion documentary, Chasing Beauty, sets out to answer a big question, “What is beauty and is it worth the cost?” That’s a lot of ground to cover, so we dive right in with interviews with former supermodels, young model wanna-be’s, photographers, agents, beauty pageant judges, make-up artists, psychologists and plastic surgeons. All of them and more have a take on making it in the glamorous yet cutthroat industry of modeling and/or why beauty is the brass ring of our society today.