There is no better way to spend an evening during a damp and dark January than in front of a log fire with a good documentary on the television. There are lots of great offerings to choose from: The True Cost and The First Monday in May to name just two. The one I have most enjoyed recently is 7 Days Out, which is part of a Netflix series. It is directed by Andrew Rossi, who was also responsible for The First Monday in May, which provided a behind-the-scenes peek at the 2015 Met Gala and corresponding exhibit, “China: Through the Looking Glass.” This earlier work shares a similar format whereby cameras are allowed behind the scenes to witness an event years in the making.
There are five other films in the 7 Days Out series, each dealing with diverse topics, from the Westminster Dog Show to the Kentucky Derby. The one that caught my eye unpicks Chanel's Spring Summer 2018 Haute Couture collection and spectacular show. For the hour-long episode, Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel’s seamstresses allowed Rossi inside 31 Rue Cambon to witness the week leading up to the couture show. Curriers deliver last-minute adjustments to sketches, Petites mains beaver away on delicate embroidery and beading, and Lagerfeld is there to sign off each of the sixty or so visions one by one. The seamstresses are comfortable with the camera as they execute the pieces. Karl Lagerfeld is gracious enough to let the première head seamstresses, Jaqueline, Cecile, Olivia and Josette take the limelight as we watch them gently coax his vision into divine reality. Their poise and demeanour are enviable and the highlight of the show. Amanda Harlech graciously guides the viewer through the technical process and logistical timing of every element of the construction of the sixty-odd looks. The show entertained: a deft combination of education and drama kept me riveted.
Also worth a watch is Andrew Rossi's film the Gospel According to André, about André Leon Talley, which explores his relationship with Karl and examines the fashion world of the 1970s in which he rose to prominence.
Blog post by Polly Leonard.