THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY
The First Monday In May
This Andrew Rossi documentary attempts to open up the fashion as art debate as the Metropolitan Museum in New York prepares to host the Met Gala which occurs yearly on the first Monday in May.
Considered a big deal in the fashion world- its very own Superbowl as one observer comments- the film follows the trials and tribulations of the Art’s Costume Curator, the affable Andrew Bolton, as he prepares for 2015’s gargantuan task of creating a Chinese themed event alongside the not quite so affable Anna Wintour of American Vogue renown.
The film offers up a fascinating insight into the organising of a major red carpet event and the fickleness of celebrity-at one point Josh Hartnett is briefly mentioned and even more swiftly dismissed with a curt ‘Has he done much of interest lately? – against the very seriousness of fashion which has emerged from a basement corner of the museum to become a major draw. No longer considered a frivolity it would appear that fashion is now a very serious business in the world of museums and part of the reason it has taken so long to emerge is down to the fact that previously it was considered to be the preserve of women.
As this film shows times have moved and now fashion is of interest to everyone, even if there are still a few doubters resistant within the museum community who are worried that the Look at China exhibition will obscure some of the more traditional artefacts on show in their respective areas.
Bolton’s vision however is quite extraordinary and although she often appears to be auditioning for her own caricature persona in ‘ The Devil Wears Prada’ it becomes clear that Wintour’s haughty disdain and no-nonsense manner is one of the main reasons the whole concept actually comes together. Possibly one of the film’s most amusing scenes is when she visits the new Vogue Offices in the new World Trade Centre and practically demands everything be altered or ripped out within minutes of arriving although I am sure it was not quite so funny for those who stood there as she rubbished their efforts and demanded something else.
As for the stars at the Gala well everyone from Cher to Rihanna, George Clooney to Gaga, Julianne Moore to Naomi Campbel put in a stylish appearance as well as the height of irritation that is Justin Beiber who even made the Kim Kardashian and Kanye West circus look classy.
The real stars of the film however had to be the clothes whether they were by Galliano, Yves Saint Laurent, Jean Paul Gaultier or Alexander Mc Queen. They were all quite something-Bolton was also the mastermind behind the McQueen exhibition which showed to sell out crowds at the V&A last year- and showed that fashion does indeed need to be recognised as an art form and is at home in a museum setting as any other.
The First Monday in May is showing at Cineworld on Friday June 17 at 20.35 and again at Cineworld on Sat 18th June at 13.20