BEHIND THE SCENES: Some couturiers use pins to fix clothes on a fit model. Others, like designer Isabel Marant, use sticky tape.
In new fashion documentary called “Isabel Marant: Naissance d’une collection” — or “Isabel Marant: The Birth of a Collection” in English — the fashion designer is seen taping a white sleeveless dress to a model’s back using multiple scraps of white adhesive tape, a scene that was met with hilarity during the screening of the documentary in Paris on Monday evening.
“It’s my method,” shrugged Marant, who was joined by her husband, the accessories designer Jérôme Dreyfuss, as well as a crowd of friends and brand collaborators, to discover the 52-minute film. “I guess every designer has his own way of doing things.”
In another scene, Marant holds up various pieces of printed wrapping paper close to her body, cinching her waist with one hand, studying the result in a full-length mirror while her team watches closely. The contrast between the incongruity of the scene — a designer playing around with bits of paper — and the concentration on Marant’s face is particularly enjoyable.
“I found it really moving to see all the consecutive steps,” continued Marant, who opened her studio doors to director Dominique Miceli for the whole conception of her spring collection, from the first inspirations to the final show. “When you see me with those ugly paper dresses — I’m the only one who can really understand what I can make out of the nonsense I try out on the girls. It moved me to see those grubby first steps — to witness the toad turning into Prince Charming.”
The documentary will air on Dec. 15 on French TV channel Paris Première, after which it be available to watch on French subscriber-only streaming platform 6Play. It shows Marant squatting on the floor with her design team comparing differently priced strips of lace — “this one is way overpriced,” she says at one point, letting the sample drop to the floor — draping vintage crochet blankets over her own body to get ideas for a jacket and warmly embracing Gigi Hadid and Kaia Gerber during casting sessions.
The viewer is taken on a trip through the whole conception of the collection, from choosing the materials to the final fashion show, which ends in a massive party at the brand’s headquarters. Even in moments of doubt, Marant smiles and laughs with gusto.
“Success hasn’t changed her one bit,” said Miceli during an introductory speech at the screening, where Marant was sitting front row. “She doesn’t have a limo or a private jet. She only has a scooter.”
The designer jumped in to correct her: “Actually, it’s been towed.”