Yes, your perennial fashion documentary reviewer is back! This time I want to talk about Seamless, which is a little gem of a film that hasn't gotten the recognition it deserves.
While Seamless is not pushing any envelopes when it comes to story telling or cinematography, it provides a very compelling and eye opening insight to the struggles of young designers. Designers who, despite being kinda famous, still have a lot of obstacles to overcome.
The movie follows three of the ten finalists for the first CDFA/Vogue awards up until the moment when the winner of the $200.000 prize is revealed. The three designers featured are; Doo Ri Chung, Alexandre Plokhov of Cloak (now sadly out of business due to a partnership dispute) and Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough of Proenza Schouler.
When I first saw the list of the 10 nominees in Vogue back in 2005, I was like "why are these famous designers up for support, aren't they all like established already?"
Well now I know why. Or as someone says in the intro scene "this is a business where you can be perceived as successful without making any money, because a lot of the success is just hype in the press."
Like the guys behind the pretty famous Proenza Schouler brand. In the movie they have yet to be able to pay themselves any money, instead all the money goes to studio rent, production costs and salaries for their assistants. Making no money also means that they have to live in their studio. There is one touching scene where Jack and Lazaro decides to move apart (they are also a couple) in order to get more personal space. Well, "moving apart" in their case just means shuffling Jack's furniture to another part of the studio!
Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough in an attempt to get personal space.
Both Doo Ri and Alexandre Plokhov have to make similar sacrifices. I'm actually amazed by what they are prepared to do just to keep designing clothes.
Not the fashion district. The New Jersey dry cleaner store whose basement Doo Ri works from.
The movie is directed by Douglas Keeve of Unzipped fame, but Seamless lacks some of the intensity and passion that Unzipped has. The best documentaries are often the ones that follow their subjects during a long time. Seamless doesn't do that, due to time and/or financial restrictions I presume, which is a bit of a let down. But the movie is still really good. I especially like that Seamless tells you like it is, instead of just letting the designers blabbing on about how they are inspired by the skyline on a Moroccan beach or how their muse is a girl in a green dress who eats macaroons for breakfast.
Also for all you Isaac Mizrahi lovers out there, he makes a quick cameo in Seamless. He is one of the speakers during the winner banquet, and in classic Isaac deadpan style he sums up the whole fashion biz dilemma:
"So I don't know what to say to the new guard except 'run!'"
LOL! Keepin' it real, Isaac!
This review is the last one in my suite of fashion documentary reviews. Not because I'm quitting, but because I don't have any more films to review right now :(
Therefore I'd love to get more suggestions from you (good and bad fashion documenteries, it doesn't matter).