Fashion insiders talk about their favorite films and those that have inspired their collections.
Grant Krajecki, Grey Ant
Favorite films: “I watch a lot of old horror movies. Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween—that’s the reason I made high-waisted jeans in the first place. She looks so good in them. My favorite movie is Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill.”
Favorite films: “Burden of Dreams, the documentary about the making of Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo. I watched it 15 times when I was preparing my spring 2007 collection. I just turn it on to hear sound in the background. I like to hear [Herzog’s] voice.”
Favorite films: “My favorite would be Wassup Rockers by Larry Clark because I’m in it. Come support your peeps.”
Favorite films: “It’s all about Half Nelson. Ryan Gosling is amazing and I hope he gets nominated for an Oscar.”
Favorite films: “Whatever my kids [Olivia, two, and Chloe, four] watch, that’s all I get to watch. Sleeping Beauty and Pee-Wee’s Playhouse are on heavy rotation now. Here’s another thing I’m obsessed with: Once Upon a Time in the West.”
Laura Mulleavy, Rodarte
Favorite films: “I love the film Metropolitan [by Whit Stillman]. I’m obsessed with anything that’s [like a] Peanuts comic strip, where people are in their own little world and they’re egomaniacs.”
Rio de Janeiro
Favorite films: Dracula, based on Bram Stoker’s book. “A beautiful story told in dreamlike scenes.”
Favorite fashion film: Dangerous Liasons. “Especially the sequence in which the Glenn Close character is being dressed by servants.”
Favorite current film: Little Miss Sunshine. “Because it shows a rarely seen side of the USA.”
Last movie seen: The Prestige
Design inspiration: Herchcovitch’s trademark skull-print T-shirts and tops were inspired by horror films and the floor-length men’s coats from his winter 2004 collection were inspired by the Dracula capes used by Brazilian director/actor José Mojica Marins (known as “Coffin Joe” internationally) in his B-horror movies.
Jonny Johansson, founder and creative director of Acne Jeans
Favorite film: The Wild One, starring Marloan Brando.
Favorite fashion film: William Klein’s In and Out of Fashion.
Most inspirational film: “A film that always manages to inspire me is Rebel Without a Cause, with James Dean.”
Current favorite film: American Gigolo
Last movie seen: The Lost Boys
Favorite films: Fame, Scarface, Bonnie and Clyde and Taxi Driver.
Susien Chong and Nic Briand
Favorite films: “When we were in New York recently, Nic and I spent $300 on DVDs—we’re absolute pop culture junkies—ranging from episode two of The Cosby Show to Grey Gardens by the Maysles brothers, to another documentary on Bob Dylan called Don’t Look Back,” says Chong. “If we’re into a particular artist and there’s a documentary on them, then that provides huge inspiration for us. Jean Luc Godard also did a Stones documentary, Sympathy for the Devil, and there’s another documentary that Mick Jagger did, called Performance. Movie-wise, we saw Borat (when it came out). Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore and, of course, anything by Woody Allen, especially after coming back from New York.”
Design inspiration: Lover’s “Altamont” fall 2007 collection was inspired by the 1970 Maysles brothers’ Rolling Stones documentary, Gimme Shelter, and the designers’ previous “Black Rose Army” spring 2006 collection was inspired by Robert Stone’s 2004 documentary, Guerilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst.
Alex Zabotto-Bentley, Fashionassassin
Favorite films: Zabotto-Bentley says he recently watched the 1978 horror flick The Eyes of Laura Mars again, as well as the “crazy ridiculous” pop culture films Bring It On III: All Or Nothing (2006) and Stick-It (2006). Zabotto-Bentley’s all-time favorites include Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), The Thomas Crown Affair (the 1968 original), The Man With the Golden Arm (1955), Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Princess Bride (1987) and anything by Robert Altman, John Waters or Andy Warhol.
Design inspiration: “The Outsiders, The Wanderers and Rumble Fish—they’re the films that really, really inspired me,” says Zabotto-Bentley. “I’ve made a pact with a friend of mine to really investigate some of the older black-and-white movies with Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, etc., and look at the costuming and see how we can turn it into modern street/sportswear look. That particular era was much more film noir and melodramatic; there were some really hard-shape garments.”
Favorite film: “Brokeback Mountain, because though it is not obviously a film about fashion, it is beautifully shot and creates a haunting atmosphere. The rugged landscape mirrors the ruggedness of the men who live there, and their clothes, born from the requirement for tough and functional outfits, help contribute to the impression of a closed community with its own rituals and codes of behavior. The cowboy hats, the denim, the shirts—these basics stay the same as time passes; in fact, in the film, as the characters age, their wardrobe style remains as constant as the forces of nature that surround them. Ultimately, it is a piece of clothing that holds the most powerful memory for one of the characters and symbolizes the lost love of his life—the film ends with Ennis, a strong man of few words, played brilliantly by Heath Ledger, clutching his lover’s shirt, which he keeps as a reminder in his wardrobe.”
Favorite fashion films: Marie Antoinette
Favorite recent film: Memoirs of a Geisha
Most inspiring recent film: Brokeback Mountain
Favorite current film: “The Devil Wears Prada, because it is so funny, and because though it is an exaggerated cartoon of an aspect of the industry I work in, I think it’s pretty true to life. I did laugh, and I did recognize the landscape.”
Favorite film: “Daisies, it’s so visually beautiful. And it’s silly and profound at the same time.”
Favorite fashion film: Marie Antoinette
Most inspirational film: “Karen Elson, Zooey Deschanel and Sarah Sophie Flicker just made a short film together, Lay Down Lean. It’s completely amazing.”
Current favorite film: Love Story
Last movie seen: Roman Coppola’s CQ.