We have seen an influx of true fashion stories in film this year, from the war-fraught, political period of Christian Dior and Cristóbal Balenciaga, to the scandalous life of John Galliano. Take a deep dive into the life stories and personal accounts of these designers on Disney+, Apple TV and on the big screen this year …
The New Look on Apple TV +
The New Look is a ten-part historical series on Apple TV+ which captures the tensions and rivalries within the world of haute couture. For fashion lovers, Valentine’s Day promises to be extra special this year, when The New Look premieres on Apple TV+ in Ireland – a ten-episode drama series from Grammy award-winner Todd A Kessler. The all-star cast includes Ben Mendelsohn, Maisie Williams, John Malkovich, Emily Mortimer, Claes Bang, Glenn Close and Juliette Binoche.
Inspired by true events and filmed in Paris, the series centres on fashion designers Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and their contemporaries, including Pierre Balmain and Cristóbal Balenciaga and how they navigated the war, especially the Nazi occupation of Paris. During such a turbulent time in world history, a new way of dressing emerged. It was Irish editor Carmel Snow, (portrayed by Glenn Close) editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar from 1934 to 1958, who famously coined the phrase “The New Look” in praise of Dior’s post-war sartorial revolt.
For viewers in Ireland, the ten-episode series will debut on Apple TV+ on February 14, with the first three episodes dropping initially on the streaming platform, followed by one episode every Wednesday until April 3. www.tv.apple.com.Photograph via Apple TV+.
Cristóbal Balenciaga on Disney+
One of the 20th century’s most mysterious designers is brought to life in this six-part drama series on Disney+. The series, Cristóbal Balenciaga, begins when he moves to Paris, with Spanish actor Alberto San Juan in the titular role. The series sheds some light on this intensely private man; much like The Crown, it blends politics with aesthetics, charting the demise of rarefied haute couture salons.
Cristóbal Balenciaga written by Lourdes Iglesias is on Disney+ now. www.disneyplus.com. Photograph via Disney +.
High & Low – John Galliano in cinemas on March 8
Widely recognised as one of the most influential and successful fashion designers of our time, John Galliano opens up about his career in a new documentary directed by Kevin Macdonald, which premieres during Dublin International Film Festival.
The documentary features conversations with his closest friends and family and fashion insiders including Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Penelope Cruz, Charlize Theron, Anna Wintour, Edward Enninful, Boris Cyrulnik, Hamish Bowles, and Sidney Toledano among others. Galliano himself also took part.
“A mutual friend put me in touch with John Galliano and said that he was interested in discussing his career and precipitous fall in a very open way,” says Macdonald. They started talking on Zoom during the first lockdown in the summer of 2020. They first met in person in the spring of 2021 and that led to a ‘trial interview’ in August 2021. That first interview – done while John was on vacation in the south of France with his long-term partner Alexis Roche – convinced Kevin that John was not just a fascinating subject for a film but was prepared to be utterly candid and show himself in a raw and unfiltered way.
Released by Mubi, High & Low – John Galliano will be shown on Sunday, February 25 at 7.30pm as part of Dublin International Film Festival, for more details visit; www.diff.ie. It will be released in cinemas from March 8. Photograph via MUBI.