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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Documentary, January 23, 2005
This review is from: Unzipped (DVD)
A season in the life of former fashion designer, Isaac Mizrahi, as documented by his (then) boyfriend/director/former-Sundance-Film-Fest-Darling, Douglas Keeve. Opening with Mizrahi reading a devastating review in *Womens Wear Daily* of his most recent collection, it is a heartbreaking moment that only artists really understand. But unflattering criticism is part of the ballgame, and Mizrahi rolls with the punches. There is no time to wallow - there's another collection to be designed, and we watch as Mizrahi looks for inspiration in a variety of sources, eventually becoming most inspired by the idea of basing his Fall collection on the 1935 film *Call of the Wild* and 1922s *Nanook of the North*. What seems such an unlikely course becomes magic as we watch the rough ideas of suede boots and fuzzy jackets transform themselves into a cohesive statement of winter luxury that is completely modern. We watch the details being refined, the fabrics being selected, and most amusingly, the fittings being done with the Holy Trinity of supermodels, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington. We see Evangelista exactly as we expect to - the biggest diva of them all - whining of being discriminated against in shoe selection. This is the woman who once said, "[We] don't get out of bed for less than $10,000," but the power she brings to the runway appears to make her worth every penny. We feel the utter despair that Mizrahi feels as he reads that Jean-Paul Gaultier has just unveiled his own Eskimo-themed collection. We see Mizrahi try to persuade the models to undress behind a backlit scrim during the show, and some of them pointedly refusing. But the ones that do, become a stunning backdrop for a knock-out show. The documentary runs full-circle, ending with Mizrahi reading a fabulous review of his excellent collection. It is a film rife with stereotypes of fashionistas, but these stereotypes, like most, have sprung forth from a good bit of truth. And given what is perceived to be the shallowest of milieus, it is a very touching story combining the elements of creativity, criticism, hope and redemption. Mizrahi, whose eponymous fashion house closed a few years ago, entertains in front of the camera, as well as designs, and the constantly revolving cast of characters is a Who's Who of late-90s fashion magazines. It is Keeve's first project and was a critical success, presciently capturing Mizrahi at the peak of his career, and the fashion world in one of its most decadent eras. Though neither Mizrahi nor Keeve have attained such prominence since *Unzipped*, is even more special because of it. It was the right combination of the right qualities at the right time that garnered the film and its participants such attention, but, in retrospect, it is a moment that is bound to burst like a garishly elegant soap bubble.
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