Monday, 23 May 2016


And filmmakers think they have it hard. A glitzy gathering of the world's most beloved purveyors of plastic surgery may not seem the ideal arena in which to push the point that fashion is (or can be) art. The naysayers would likely take one look at the Met Gala and scoff, again, but Andrew Rossi takes a closer look, and confirms it for those who were so foolishly undecided: of course it's art. And of course The First Monday in May is art too, whether or not it knows it - it's plain and unambitious in its artistic impulses, but it's art all the same. A deeper, fuller, more probing approach toward developing a synergy between the efforts on display in the film and those behind the scenes in Rossi's camp might have engendered a worthier, more profound examination of its subject. As it is, The First Monday in May is enjoyable, engaging, gently thought-provoking and less gently ravishing to behold. The Costume Institute Gala is a tribute to the clothes; a flurry of photographs plastered online once a year achieves the same effect, so Rossi alters his focus, making his film a tribute to the work that goes into the gala. It's potentially the least clothing-orientated film about fashion ever made. It's far from bereft of glamour, though, and if you find yourself living for the production design, you'll find yourself dying for the fashion. And those who don't, those who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge this art form for what it is, may join in a game of comparison: Guo Pei's 2-years-in-the-making piece for Rihanna, or whatever scrubs you're currently sporting. You bet fashion is art.