What to Watch on Netlix When You're Snowed in for Fashion Week

It's day one of NYFW and there's 8 inches of snow outside my door, which exceeds the 4 inches of the heels I was planning on wearing to the Michael Costello runway show. So, if like me, you're snowed in, or you're simply craving some kind of fashion participation this week, I've found several new listings on Netflix to keep you involved. 

Fraco Rubartelli, Vogue 1969

Fraco Rubartelli, Vogue 1969

Inside British Vogue

The newest fashion doc to be released on Netflix, the film maker follows recently resigned E.I.C. Alexandra Shulman around in an intimate, but not entirely complimentary angle. My immediate thought was that this documentarian has no business making movies about fashion, as his ineptitude on the subject becomes glaringly apparent when he asks Kate Moss inanely simple questions about her career, to which she barely replies. Kinda painful to watch, and I wonder if it had anything to do with the abrupt resignation of Shulman, which happened the same week the doc was released. 

The First Monday In May

The second Vogue documentary to be made by the guys who brought us The September Issue (Why isn't that on Netlix?!) We see even more of The Devil Herself in the rare form that it takes to choreograph The Met Gala and last year's China Through the Looking Glass exhibit. An assistant's shaky hand reaches into frame just at the right moment for Anna to swipe the latte from her without missing a beat- or acknowledging the girl... the things fashion dreams are made of... right? The tension between the Gallery of Asian Arts and Vogue was quite dramatic- with both sides fighting for fundamental importance, and eventually culminating in one of the best Costume Institute exhibits yet.   

Working Girl

Not a documentary, but it could be considered a study on modern feminism in the 1980's. Tess McGill (played by the stripper-voiced Melanie Griffith) climbs the corporate ladder of Wall Street, and is fowled by her boss (played by Sigourney Weaver) who is not only a fellow female, but gasp! YOUNGER than her. If you've ever been an assistant and dreamed of surpassing a boss who's done you wrong, you'll like this one. And the power suit, shoulder pad, and commuting sneakers strike a kind of Céline cord. 

The Paradise

A great BBC import that I never hear anyone talk about! If you've ever worked in retail, and you like a good period piece- The Paradise has you covered. Based on the establishment of Selfridge's department store in London, we follow a passionate young shopgirl with big ideas that translate to today's retail operations. Her ideas about merchandising, service, and sales are based on true events that lead to the development of the modern-day shopping experience. Of course she gets involved with the charismatic store owner... but what's a retail job without a little drama? 

Styling Stories: The Devil Wears The Row

My first day working for a mega-stylist in Los Angeles began with a 4:30 a.m. meeting in the dark parking lot behind her studio in Beverly Hills.  Said stylist had hired me as her second assistant per a recommendation from a very important publicist  friend. Earning a reputation of  an accomplished assistant in New York City speaks volumes in LA, where the average assistant is a 20-year old blonde from Calabasas who drives her mom's old BMW and can't find her way out of a paper bag. I was hired without so much as a phone call. 

I briefly (and coldly) shook hands with my new employer, and was ordered to stuff as many of the human-sized duffle bags of clothes and accessories into her Range Rover, and fit the rest in my Ford Focus. (By the end of my tenure in LA I was an expert in maximizing the interior space of that car) "Ok, maybe she's cranky because it's so early." (By the end of my tenure in LA, I would also learn that I was wrong, and this was usually her demeanor) 

As I frantically packed her SUV, a terrified young man pulled into the parking lot in his beat-up Jeep. It was her first assistant who had broken down on the 405 on his way, I watched in awkward silence as he went almost catatonic as she reamed him out. 

We headed to the shoot location, the stunning rose gardens at the Huntington Library in Pasadena, me chasing her Range Rover Sport and trying to follow my GPS at the same time (I swear she was trying to loose me, this became a pattern)

Typically, assistants are not consulted for their opinions by their bosses or the client, and are expected to be as silent and invisible as possible. The nervous assistant couldn't help himself, and chatted casually with our talent- Emma Stone, who was having a major fashion moment thanks to our chic bitch boss. I knew I would quickly eclipse him and become the first assistant when she sent him off-set on a wild goose chase for double stick tape (it was 6:30 a.m.) He arrived back to set around noon, tape-less. 

I saw the nervous assistant only once more, a week later, when I was instructed to busy myself by organizing sample shoes in the assistants' office while he was excused, and left in tears. 

"So, should we just say that you're going to be working here full-time now?"  

So commenced my first year of working in LA for one of the best, and most difficult stylist in Hollywood. 

Stay tuned for more Styling Stories...