A while back, a friend suggested I check out a documentary being shown on the Sundance Channel called "Signe (pronounced sinay, with the Spanish tilde above the "n") Chanel." The program was a behind-the-scenes of the making of a Chanel Couture Fall '04 Collection. I was intrigued, to say the least. I set my TiVo to record it whenever the program was shown. However, it only recorded the final episode of this 5 part documentary. I felt empty, unfinished, as if I watched the end, but not what lead up to it. And that is because I did!
As Haute Couture Fall 2007 Season was wrapping up last week in Paris and I watched videos of Galliano's breathtaking Dior "Bal des Artsites" show as well as Chanel's "High Profile" show, I thought of researching on the Internet for the other episodes of "Signe Chanel" that I had missed. Alas I found them (on YouTube, of course) and I sat glued to my laptop for the last 3 nights watching one of the most inspiring and moving programs about fashion and specifically the art of Haute Couture that I have ever seen.
So much so that now I have recommended it for the Advanced Fashion Design students that I am honored to be instructing at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising/FIDM. In fact, I have given it to them as part of their Homework for next week. Signe Chanel is a must-see for any fashion designer as well as student of fashion. It is amazing what these sewers, tailors, fitters, drapers do. I am amused sometimes when fashion writers or editors say a certain designer is a "master" at tailoring or draping, because when you see this, it should be correctly stated that their ateliers are the real masters. The unsung ones. You will cringe when Monsieur Lagerfeld, a genius talent that no one doubts, and yet, he does not even know the name of one of his master seamstresses who happens to be retiring after 50 years of creating some of the most beautiful garments in the world! And finally to watch the person who looms the iconic Chanel braid BY HAND, is nothing short of painful and beautiful at the same time.
Click Below to watch the first 2 segments of the 1st episode. Then go HERE to Fashion Vids to watch all 5 episodes. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Note to my FIDM students: There will be a Quiz!!!!