The First Monday in May – Tribeca Film Festival

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The First Monday in May – Tribeca Film Festival

“Fashion should be recognised as Art, when it touches people and moves people; – I mean, what more can you ask from Art?” punctuates editor-in-chief Anna Wintour in a Vogue demeanor, at the end of the trailer for Andrew Rossi’s upcoming film, The First Monday in May.

1_Andrew Bolton in THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAYa Magnolia Pictures release_Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Andrew Bolton in THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

A video save-the-date for an intimate documentary that is to open the 15th Annual Tribeca Film Festival this April. The Tribeca Film Festival, a platform for independent filmmaking, expression of established and emerging voices, and reimagined, immersive entertainment is renowned for turning lower  Manhattan into a melting pot for creatives across industries and diverse audiences, who come together annually to celebrate the power of storytelling, through panels, premieres, exhibitions and live performance.

In this year’s opening film, the Emmy Award nominated filmmaker, explores the intersection of fine art and high fashion, looking at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most attended and anticipated Costume Institute exhibition in history, “China:Through the Looking Glass.”. The film follows the curator in charge of the Costume Institute, Andrew Bolton and Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour in the organisational dynamic of one of the biggest global fashion events cochaired every year by Condé Nast’s Artistic Director

Exhibition update meeting. Sylvana Ward Durrett, Anna Wintour, Nathan Crowley, Mike Hearn and Andrew Bolton in THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

The lingering debate about whether fashion should be regarded as art often condemns the former as a medium that too often crosses into a world of  commodity, where the infatuation with the byproduct is fueled by transitional commercialism, and where the ’pieces’ produced by a designer, are wrapped in clever branding. But is the universal scope, from mass-produced garments to haute couture, that fashion encompasses, so broad it perhaps limits its right to be called an art form?

Critics of many generations have argued that the conception of both Fashion and Art is driven by certain commercial aspects and that both are undeniably the translation of that concept into the process, yet the end product in fashion is accessible to audiences in a way that that of Art often is not.

Nevertheless, it was in 1983 that the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute displayed a 25-year retrospective of Yves Saint Lauren’t designs, elevating each garment in the same manner as the works of Picasso or Monet. 28 years later, “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” became one of the most widely attended exhibitions in the history of the museum, making the Met, one of the few fine art institutions to have recognised the place great work in Fashion deservingly holds in a museum for its contribution to our cultural heritage.

The exploration of this collaborative event, themed around Chinese-inspired Western fashions will perhaps not directly contest but rather, provide ground for viewers to form an opinion on whether the considerations of Fashion are more economic than those of Art at its purest form.

Capturing the passions and visions of figures such as film director and creative consultant for the Met Gala, Vaz Luhrmann; Vogue’s Andre Leon Tally; Harold Kodak, Thomas Campbell, Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Douglas Dillon, Chairman of the Department of Asian Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and fashion designers Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, and Ricardo Tics, in the depths of the debate between fine art, fashion and pop culture, proves that while the two may not be intrinsically connected in their values, they sure can aesthetically coexist in order to translate the variety of mediums and convey the magic of crafts that make for the visual culture of the world as we have come to know it through art and fashion history.


Andrew Bolton in THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

The Tribeca Film Festival runs April 13 to April 24. Opening night is sponsored by Farfetch with special thanks to


The First Monday in May – Tribeca Film Festival

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Written by Joanna Uzunova

A freelance fashion and lifestyle columnist, passionate about words and substance. Joanna is also the founder of a Bespoke Personal Styling Consultancy company, through which she exerts her affinity for cultivating personal style.

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