Style Points is a new weekly column about how fashion deals with the wider world.
A few years ago, a stranger came to Jill Kargman at a party to say, “Oh my God, I’m a fan.” He thought they were talking about the Bravo series Weird Mom Get Out, which illustrates Kargman’s experience as an unusual Upper East Side mother in a sea of Stepford mothers. Apparently, they had never even heard of the program. “You wrote Internship! “Exclaimed the fan.
Released in 2000, the film found no audience who later liked the fashion world The devil uses prada, The Hills, City and Betty is ugly indeed, but it feels like a prequel to all the portrayals on the screen. Twenty years after its creation, it maintains the kind of veneration status that surrounds a small designer who has never managed to become a great person. But now on Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services, it has found a new niche audience. Kargman’s admirer even told him that the film was unofficially screened for new students at FIT: “They watched it with about 20 people piled up on the couch and they said this was a proto-The Devil Wears Prada, so I’m very honored. “
To channel SNLStefan for a moment: this film has everything. Including impressive actors drawn from Hollywood (Billy Porter, Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, Gwyneth Paltrow in cameo roles) and the fashion world (André Leon Talley, Diane von Furstenberg, Paulina Porizkova, Tommy Hilfiger, Simon Doonan, and Kevyn Aucoin, among many others.) If that somehow doesn’t sell you, it’s opened with music numbers out of context and just getting wilder from there. The ’90s young star Dominique Swain played the titular internship, while the pre-Pose, Pre-fashion dear Porter appears as a type A art director even according to art director standards. (Sending the channel “Send this fax to Galliano’s beloved stylist in Monaco!” Changed my life.) “He picked up everything,” said Kargman. The Rivers character was inspired by fashion editor Polly Mellen, who would “cry” on the runway, he said. The film is full of late 90s / early laughs in fashion jokes, including models named Aloha and Resin (taking off at Shalom Harlow and Amber Valletta.) Even my favorite bitchy line, delivered by Cynthia Rowley, comes from a famous designer . “I can’t take credit for that, it’s all Karl Lagerfeld,” Kargman said. “May he rest.”
I consider myself a blurry film encyclopedia, but Internship almost nothing on my radar. Beyond its unfriendly SEO title, the poster makes it look like a more obscene fare. “I actually see the poster now on Wikipedia, and it looks like it Internship is a film where Joan Rivers screams at her cheap daughter, “Griffin said. “Which is also good. There are no bad combos with this crew. ”
Set in fiction Skirt magazine, this film grew from the real experience of Kargman and his co-author Caroline Doyle working at the magazine in the 90s. One night, they were out late at Balthazar, sharing their wildest anecdotes with a group of friends including Paltrow, their Spence classmate. “Everyone laughed,” recalled Kargman, “telling us we had to write it.” Kargman experienced a version of the scene where the editor had more than 2 percent milk, instead of skimmed in cappuccino, and culminated with sticking a finger in the throat. Another real life moment which made it into a film: when Doyle was called Bob, and corrected the editor in his name, only to be told, “No, bob! Your hair is too long! You need Bob! Believe me, people will pay thousands for my advice! “(” Carrie is like “What?”)
Talley has an impressive part where fashion almost functions as a costar. “I just had a black silk taffeta court coat made at Givenchy haute couture, by John Galliano, who was recently hired to be a creative director,” he told me via email. “It was inspired by the woman’s collection. The coat has a 30 foot ceremonial train and that is what I wore. The coat, ordered and made, was worn only once. Only for the film.” Now, he said, “It’s in a dust-free box in the couture coat archive. I. I love the coat and since that opportunity, I haven’t had the chance to wear it. Perfect, cinematic and appropriate. Jill, I think, really liked the coat. ”
Griffin, meanwhile, sports a towering hairstyle that almost doubles as a statue. “I remember it was very painful,” he said. “At first I liked, OK, this is very different, I have a very different appearance, and this is cool, and I feel like a real actress. Cut a few hours later and I’m like ‘Ouch! Ouch! Get me out of this damn thing.’ ”
For all the value of his camp – and it contains the value of the Met Gala – the film also crystallized when fashion and magazines felt they were both unimaginable glamor and closed from public view. “[Fashion] inaccessible, “at the time, said Griffin,” so I am of the opinion that at that time there might have been features destroyed by the Kardashia family. There, I say it! “There is an insider’s feeling that other Hollywood attempts to channel the world of fashion, like Robert Altman Ready, never reached. And instead of focusing on the editor, it tells the internal-as-protagonist storyline that we will later see The Hills.
There doesn’t seem to be a big 20-year celebration plan, à la widespread celebration Drop Dead Beautiful and But I am a Cheerleader. “I don’t even think that anyone involved with it has seen it in 20 years,” Kargman said. But the film has a small, albeit small, fan base, including a student who recently contacted Kargman to get the paper they wrote on it. Talley said, “I am very happy that this film is recognized as a smart film today. Today, people can see how brilliant the whole project is.” He added, “I think Netflix should buy it.”
When I told Griffin that the children found it again, he adopted a false The get-off-my-lawn tone: “What ?! Children, with Twitch and TikTok? I actually did two stand shows at FIT, and I never knew how they knew who I was. But damn, I’m in the fashion industry, Véronique! “
Maybe next time he does, the students will clap, I told him.
“I want them to cry,” he said, “and I want someone to call me a fashion icon at some point.”
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