n Franca: Chaos & Creation (2016) we get to meet Franca Sozzani, the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia. This documentary is a tribute to Franca and her extraordinary life directed by her son Francesco Carozzini. Franca is a stubborn and rebellious woman who changed the fashion industry with her forward thinking ideas and controversial issues of Vogue.
The documentary shows the contrast of her successful career and the chaos in her personal life. After going to university she married her first husband, even though she knew it was doomed before she walked down the altar. When anyone asks her why she got married anyway she sarcastically answers: ‘I was already wearing the dress’. Three months after the wedding she got an annulment and travelled to India.
After her trip to India she decided to go to London. She was attracted to the fashion industry in a country like England, since it was less conservative then fashion in Italy. It was the anti-establishment era with miniskirts and high knee boots.
After returning to Italia and starting her career as an editor, she got pregnant of first and only child. She was not a perfect mom. She never took her child to the park and missing his elementary school`s graduation. Not only did people disapprove of her work, they also criticized her personal choices in life. She always made tough decisions: getting divorced, having a child of wedlock, living without the father of her son and also raising him while working at the same time.
You can’t be stingy with dreams. You have to dream big – Franca
After she became editor-in-chief at Vogue Italia in 1988 the image of the magazine changed completely. She smashed the framework and shook up the concept with dynamic covers and pictures and creating an innovative and extravagant fashion magazine. She had gotten some of the best photographers to work for her and gave them a lot of freedom to express their talent.
She is known to go her own way and often receives criticism for thinking outside the box. “All the market research said do this, do that. I did the exact opposite of what they said. I always preferred to make my own mistakes. I listen, but I must go my own way,” she says.
While other fashion magazines were often boring and commercial, Vogue Italia got the reputation to be more about art and ideas then commerce.
Franca was described as a fearless rebel when she did fashion shoots about provocative and controversial social issues. Some of the subjects that got covered included obsession with plastic surgery (July 2005), BP oil spill (2010) and domestic violence (April 2014).
Franca died in 2016 at age 66. Luckily she got the chance to screen the about her life with her son Francesco.
What is your favorite documentary about fashion? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.
You can watch the documentary ‘Franca: Chaos and Creation’ now on Netflix.