The First Monday in May

The First Monday in May

(2016)

Documentarian Andrew Rossi chronicles the creation of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art's most attended fashion exhibition in history, 'China: Through The Looking Glass'.... More

With unprecedented access, filmmaker Andrew Rossi captures the collision of high fashion and celebrity at the Met Gala, one of the biggest global fashion events chaired every year by Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour. Featuring a cast of renowned artists in many fields (including filmmaker Wong Kar Wai and fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano) as well as a host of contemporary pop icons like Rihanna, the movie dives into the debate about whether fashion should be viewed as art.Hide

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Flicks Review

On the first Monday in May, New York’s Metropolitan Art Museum’s fundraiser brings together designer-dressed artists, actors, popstars and politicians for what Vogue's larger-than-life Editor-at-Large Andre Talley describes as “the Superbowl of annual social fashion events”.... More

Andrew Rossi’s documentary peeks behind the scenes of the Met Ball heralding the opening of their fashion exhibit, China: Through The Looking Glass. Adding drama to the glamour, this exhibition poses questions as to whether curator Andrew Bolton can match the runaway success of his Alexander McQueen exhibition while sidestepping thorny issues of political and cultural sensitivity, Colonialism and Orientalism.

Advised by In the Mood for Love director, Wong Kar-wai (who warns: “Seeing too much is seeing nothing”), Bolton focuses on China as a fantasy, seen by Western designers through the looking glass of movies, fiction, cliché and stereotype. Guarding Bolton’s back from the naysayers is Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour, embracing Meryl Streep’s The Devil Wears Prada caricature as a tyrannical presence, at once lovable, laughable and terrifying.

Regardless of your interest or otherwise in fashion, there’s a vicarious thrill in watching spoilt, self-aggrandising billionaires collide at fashion’s intersection of art and commerce. With an amazing array of names on display (from designers John Galliano and Jean-Paul Gaultier, to celebs Rihanna, Bieber, Clooney, Kanye and Kardashian), The First Monday in May is as thoughtful, funny and fascinating as the words Karl Lagerfeld utters on seeing an unwieldy dress: “When it’s that beautiful - who cares if you can walk in it?”Hide


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  • Debates about how best to represent both fashion and China - with the likes of Baz Luhrmann and Wong Kar-wai weighing in - are provocative and useful. But Rihanna walking the red carpet in an Asian-inspired ensemble is fine art in motion. Full Review

  • The lack of conflict or real insight could mean that the film's theatrical prospects might be limited to fashion fans, however its appeal within that section of the audience will be considerable. Full Review

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