Recently, I watched House of Z, which is fantastic. Yes, the fashions are out of this world and yes the eye candy is out of this world. But that’s not all that makes this film so fabulous. The story is so pertinent, and can even be applied to every one of us sewists. No matter how little or small a sewists you may think you are, the story is so inspiring. And yes, he knows how to sew – that’s how he knows how to put together those fabulous dresses.
This is the story of Zac Posen from his very beginning to today. How he was as a kid playing with fabrics and other materials to make beautiful garments. There were several things that struck me about the film: 1.) how he seemed to have an innate ability to create, 2.) the unbounded love and support from his family, 3.) the meteoric rise to fame, 4.) how no one is ready for that much fame that fast, 5.) the inevitable fall after too much fame too fast, and 6.) the recovery and realization of his own talent. If that sounds rather blah and ho-hum, in the film they do a good job of making in pertinent and real. The part I like is that there is not one sewist out there who hasn’t suffered a similar track even within the assembly of one garment….”Oh, boy, I can do this,” to “Good Grief, what was I thinking,” to “Hey I can do this and it will look fabulous!” I also like how confidently committed he was to his calling (which is something we all should be – whatever that calling is), and even though he had the weight of a lot of pressure on his shoulders and mind, he plugged through it. That’s what very successful people do. In addition, he continues to move the challenge bar a little higher, making him venture a little more into unknown, unexplored fields. This sort of exploring is nothing short of sheer bravery. This moving the challenge bar always a little higher is what separates the really gifted from the ho-hum. The cream always rises to the top and because he has the courage and drive to go further, to brave the unknown further, he becomes more. There is a lesson for all of us in that. No, we don’t need to put on a fashion show to the raves of Anna and André. But there is nothing wrong with stretching our knowledge into the unknown (for us) to make ourselves better and learn things we only dreamed were possible. Without the effort to try, there is no success. This movie inspires as much for the fashion as it does for the creativity in all of us.
If you think you don’t know how to sew and can create a gown like this, your mind will totally be changed watching this film. There were so many problems with this dress and they were on a very strict deadline – so much so that the dress might not make it, but it was so glorious that he couldn’t not do it…..that’s the passion coming through in droves, that as you begin to look at his clothes you can see how totally glamorous they are.
BTW – you think beautiful isn’t in….looking at Zac Posen’s collections will beautiful is way WAY chic now!!
It was so terribly inspiring to watch that it brought up a list of some of my fav films for fashion……
From my fav to not so fav but still inspirational:
Also-Rans to Mention for Inspiration – High Society (1956) – although the fashions were memorable, and they were executed well, To Catch A Theif and Designing Woman really did more for this style, but it’s an also-ran here; To Have and To Have Not, in my heyday, a killer inspiration movie, although those times have passed; The Women (1939) – talk about fitting different sizes and shapes, this is the textbook on what can be done with almost any shape, size, and style.
Movies about designers are also very inspiring and here’s my list of those in order:
Diana Vreeland The Eye Has To Travel, The September Issue, Bill Cunningham New York, and check out M2M videos and films
If you’re interested in other ideas there’s a great streaming service M2M where there are tons of videos, films, documentaries, and shorts as well as videos of current runway shows. It’s literally a panoply of inspiration for ideas and simply plain fun to go through and get ideas or otherwise be inspired.
In the meantime, if you haven’t seen House of Z, it’s on Netflix and Amazon Video now and it is so worth a view.
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