Hand Made With Love in France 2014
Distributed by Cinema Guild, 115 West 30th Street, Suite 800, New York, NY 10001; 212-685-6242
Produced by Grégory Bernard
Directed by Julie Georgia Bernard
DVD, color, 88 min.
High School - General Adult
Fabrics, Fashion Design, Global Commerce, Needlework, Occupations, Sewing, Textiles
Date Entered: 02/18/2016Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA
Gérard Lognon is a master pleat-maker; Lorenzo Ré sculpts wooden hat forms; and Bruno Legeron is one of the few remaining artificial flower makers in Paris. The luxurious fabrics, embellishments, and accessories produced by these studios, and a handful of others like them, have been central to French haute couture for generations. While a few new independents carry on the time-consuming and labor-intensive process of constructing exquisite hand-crafted products, many of the small, family owned and operated businesses are selling out and up to large fashion houses. In telling the personal stories of Lognon, Ré, and Legeron, French filmmaker Bernard also considers haute couture and fashion as a worldwide phenomenon. The ways in which the business of fashion has changed during the past 10-20 years and the outcomes and consequences of that change are underlying themes. For example, the great fashion houses like Chanel and Dior used to produce 2 collections per year. As international conglomerates and manufacturers took over the industry itself, the demand to produce more collections in a shorter turnaround time also increased. In this environment, outsourcing and machine production became more common. As one of the craftspeople ironically points out, a clothing label that says ‘hand made in France’ may no longer mean either.
In documenting what appears to be the end of the small Parisian atelier, the film also captures both the history and exceptionally skilled work of the craftspeople profiled. Viewers do not need to be fashionistas to enjoy the film and appreciate the message. Recommended for fashion and business studies, as well as general collections.