The first module of FCP is finally over, and I couldn’t be happier to be back at home, eating good food and finally getting some sleep! Whilst I might not be at Uni for the next two weeks, I’m not just allowed to sit around and do nothing (though I’m sure there will be a lot of that!). Instead we’ve been set things to read, watch and listen to that, in turn, will help us to expand our knowledge on all things fashion. As work goes, it’s pretty nice! Reading week will lead to blog posts on the things I’ve learnt and my thoughts on them, and the first one will focus on fashion designer Zac Posen, and the documentary ‘House of Z’.‘House of Z’ follows the rise and fall of Zac Posen – dubbed a child prodigy in the fashion world, whose own ambition lead to his demise. When we were shown the trailer for the documentary in a lecture I knew this was for me. I love drama, and from what I could see so did Zac.
There were lots of notable moments within ‘House of Z’. Something that really stood out to me was the support from Zac’s family. Without them Zac Posen’s talent may still be undiscovered. They allowed him to start a fashion house in their small New York apartment. They spent whatever money they could scrape together on funding his dreams. His mum (Susan) and sister (Alexandra) were a part of his business and without them it all would have fallen apart much sooner than it did. At his core, Zac is a family man, and I think Susan and Alexandra are just as inspiring as him.
The dresses he creates are also breathtaking. The documentary shows how Zac has always had a hands-on approach to his designs, and this is why all his dresses highlight the models’ bodies so perfectly, the man can work magic when it comes to draping. From his amazing work with corsets, to the beautiful dresses worn on the red carpet, each were as stunning as the next and I can understand why everyone saw such a promising future for him – which makes what happens next even sadder to watch.
Like many people who experience success, Zac always wanted more, constantly pushing himself to achieve bigger and better things. However when you start at the top of the game, it’s harder to achieve more and you’ve got further to fall, and as pointed out in the documentary, Zac is the designer we watched fall.
Bitter fighting between Zac and his family lead to Susan and Alexandra leaving the business. An attempt to revive his brand by showing his couture collection in Paris, instead of New York, backfired and, instead, came across as desperate and meant after just one show he returned to New York. We slowly watched Zac lose everything he had worked so hard to build.
Towards the end of the documentary Zac puts together the show he hoped would redeem himself. Remaining in an atelier, something hard to come by nowadays in New York, Zac sets out to prove himself. Which by all means he does. The collection is gorgeous, and showcases why Zac was so successful and so well loved.
The main thing I took from the documentary was how, no matter how talented someone is, anyone can get swept up in all the drama of the fashion world. Zac Posen is undeniably talented, yet he did too well too soon and almost lost his brand and his family (they’ve begun to mend their relationship now – thank God!). I think it’s a shame that no matter how amazing his collections continue to be, Zac will always be remembered as a angry, cocky, party boy, when in reality I think this is far from the truth. He just got caught up in a game that he was too young and inexperienced to win.
If you have a spare hour, and have an interest in fashion (or celeb drama!), I’d definitely give ‘House of Z’ a watch. If you’ve only got a spare 5 mins, just have a browse through Zac’s collections, despite a blip, they’re all amazingly crafted and stunning to look at! I don’t think it’s fair to claim Zac Posen destroyed his career, seeing as he continues to create beautiful collections (including the incredible dress Miley Cyrus perfomed in last night at the Grammy’s), I think he’s just on phase 2 of his life as a fashion designer.
Until next time,
Images sourced from The Standard, PopSugar, Marie Claire, Vogue