Qui êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo? by William Klein is one of THE major fashion reference films you’ll ever come across. Polly Maggoo is not a story, it’s a vibe. A fashionable vibe, a style, a vision that lives and breathes fashion. Paco Rabanne’s first collections debuts in this film and it’s unwearable Haute Couture as it should be. Graphic metal pieces constructed around the most delicate bodies are modelled in a serious manner, because hey, it’s what we get up for every morning. Who are you, Polly Maggoo is fun yet ethereal, unreachable, a fantasy of the industry and it should be that way. A little distance and dreaming isn’t a bad thing, really.
In 2021 when Inez & Vinoodh created that wonderful fashion film collage of La Piscine, Pierrot Le Fou and other french 60s classics I was in heaven: that film was everything. Seeing it the first time, it brought tears to my eyes. They managed to perfectly capture the mood and fragility of eternal beauty and heartbreaking nostalgia at the same time. They get it and they appreciate it. This made me so happy. This was no copy & paste job, they created something from scratch rendering homage to an artwork that doesn’t exist in this way anymore. There was love, admiration and respect. This is how you use inspiration from other artists and really make it your own.
In this case however, I felt there was a fair bit of copy and paste going on. In a way, Chanel were smart to give Nana Komatsu the role of Polly Maggoo, the graphic make up suits her flawless face perfectly. It was a successful interpretation of the real Polly.
On the 2nd of January 2022 the girl who played Polly died. Dorothy McGowan was an American model. In November, publishing house delpire & co released a coffee table book on this 60s cult classic. And now Chanel devotes its Prêt-à-porter collection to Polly Maggoo but not only that. Have you noticed on Instagram the “Who are you, Coco Mademoiselle?” – campaign?
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