watch martin scorsese's little-known armani documentary from 1990

Ahead of the Italian designer’s fall/winter 17 show today, watch Marty’s short film ‘Made in Milan’.

by Emily Manning
27 February 2017, 10:15pm

These days, it's pretty common for fashion houses and film directors to team up for projects. Take Prada, for example, which has commissioned Wes Anderson to not only create short videos, but to design the interior of the Fondazione Prada's bar. Kenzo has made cinematic collaboration a signature; the Paris-based brand has linked with Spike Jonze, Gregg Araki, Tangerine's Sean Baker, and Kahlil Joseph (twice). But long before such crossover became common, one of cinema's most esteemed directors, Martin Scorsese, worked on a fashion film with Giorgio Armani.

Titled Made in Milan, the short documentary is an intimate exploration of the iconic Italian designer's life, work, and relationship to his city. Originally released in 1990, Made in Milan has since been resurrected by M2M TV. A 10-minute cut of the 20-minute feature premieres exclusively on the channel today, ahead of Armani's fall/winter 17 runway show in where else, Milano.

"When we first found out Martin Scorsese had produced a film with Giorgio Armani in 1990 we knew it had to be a hidden gem," Susan Hootstein, M2M executive producer, told the Hollywood Reporter. "Made in Milan predates the current landscape of fashion films which is why M2M felt so compelled to display this seminal piece of work."

The film opens with evocative shots of the Italian city, accompanied by a voiceover in which Armani discusses the city and his relationship to it. The camera moves from overhead shots to a first person perspective, often tilted up to explore architecture and gardens, as well as the opulent Armani HQ — as if the scenes were being filmed by a visitor trying to soak up all the city's splendor. The film also reveals childhood photographs as Armani discusses how his parents shaped his perceptions of luxury — as a notion of "interior elegance" rather than material wealth — and the challenges of actualizing your vision.

Though it's 27 years old, Made in Milan feels fresh. Visually, the slightly hazy film stock sets it apart from today's high-def digital projects. But far trippier is watching a documentary that features important lunches, design meetings, and fittings without an iPhone in sight. 


Text Emily Manning

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