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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

entry arrow10:06 AM | Unzipped

I love the film version of The Devil Wears Prada, but for me, it pales in comparison to the stark fashion reality that is Unzipped, Douglas Keeve's film about fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi as he tries to put out his 1994 winter collection. This is simply one of my favorite documentaries. But I have always been fascinated by movies that take into account the creative process of artists and the brilliant madness that go with it -- and this one, showcasing the beautiful pandemonium that is the fashion world, provides one of the most insightful look. (Plus, it doesn't hurt that we become somewhat privy to an aspect of the lives of supermodels and stars... See Linda Evangelista snarl! Hear Naomi Campbell sing!) The film, and I'm lifting this wholesale from the Amazon description, "begins with Mizrahi reading mixed reviews of his 1993 show of new outfits and then follows him for the next year as [he] seeks inspiration for his next public showcase. Sardonic, witty, and immensely likable, Mizrahi sets about finding his new muse, which turns out to be a lively but unlikely marriage of '1950s cheesecake meets Eskimo fake fur.' Keeve shows us most stages of the production process and the related disasters and heightened anxieties that attend. He also gives us a big finish with a fly-on-the-wall look at the backstage mania that fuels those celebrity-packed rituals, where leggy supermodels walk dispassionately down long runways. Some of the best, bitchiest stuff is in the way the busy models deal with the presence of Keeve's cameras: Naomi Campbell comes across as a crab while Cindy Crawford could easily be anybody's swell, flirty pal. But we already knew that, didn't we? Shot mostly in black and white, with color stock reserved, quite wisely, for the climactic big show." I had a VHS copy of this film way back in college, but you know how time does not exactly bode well for old-fashioned magnetic tape: it became fodder for mildew. I have never found a DVD copy of this anywhere, but guess what. I found the entire film in YouTube, where all good cinematic things seem to happen. This is the first clip of eight parts:

Follow the links in the original YouTube page, and enjoy the rest of the film as I did years ago. (And isn't Sandra Bernhard's version of "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" in the beginning of the film simply magnificent? I had no idea the comedian could sing soulfully like that.)

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