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A New Netflix Favorite: Unzipped


I’m a city gal, which means that I cut corners to make do. One of the things I forgo is television, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get my fair share of eye candy. Netflix provides endless movie and TV shows for my viewing pleasure. I’m usually a movie type person, but while cutting a cotton brocade for a Japanese dress I have already shown you, I switched over to documentaries and came across this gem – Unzipped. It shows Isaac Mizrahi over the course of several months as he prepares for one of his 90s runway shows. Even though we live in separate worlds, kind of, I connected with him on so many levels throughout the biopic.

At the beginning, he says that he has a low threshold for pain and criticism, but he also hates mediocre. I thought more about this. His job is to create wearable works of art that are critique by others, but if he’s not good at people saying bad things about him, why is he a fashion designer? Maybe his addiction to be being the best, and not just average, overrules his fear of negative comments. I can relate. I don’t brush off criticism well and each negative comment I receive, even if it points out a spelling error, is like a jab in my stomach or chest, mostly because it points out that I’m not perfect, that I made a mistake, and that I’m just average too. Yet, here I am, a blogger, whose role is to put her life out there for everyone to see. Why do I do it? Because the positive comments, the comments that go something like “Oh, that’s gorgeous,” or “love what you made” trump the not so good ones. I wish I could say that what I do isn’t influenced by others but I’m going to be honest, it is. I hope that’s not too selfish or too harsh.

Just before his show, Isaac stands in front of the stage and says that every designer waits for and dreams about that moment their show goes live. There’s so much momentum that builds the months and weeks before, when everything is being made, that it’s an incredible feeling when everything is on the stage. How true is this? Can you relate to that build up of anticipation when making a garment and when you finally finish, photograph, and blog about it, feel so rewarded and fulfilled? It’s what I wait for every project – that moment when everything is complete and visible for all to see. “Look what I made!”

Do any of you relate to this?



  1. Reply

    lisa g

    thanks for the tip! i’ll have to add this movie to my list. i know what you mean about criticism, i don’t have particularly thick skin either, so just putting myself out there in a blog can be tough! the good always outweighs the bad though, so it’s totally worth it. 🙂

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      With the good comes the bad, but in the end, totally worth it.

  2. Reply

    Amy Plaza

    Oh! I’ll have to watch this!! I know what you mean about the negative criticism.. it’s so hard to shake off. I worry when I hit “post” that something I wrote doesn’t make sense, spelling or grammar errors. It’s a very insecure moment – but the positive comments make it worth it <3

  3. Reply


    I’ve seen it. It is fabulous!

  4. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    I was the director one year for my community college’s fashion show. It’s its own kind of special madness. Unzipped is one of those funny movies that’s half reality half fantasy.

  5. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    On a personal to you note. You say you don’t brush off criticism easily which intrigues me a little because you’re always soliciting it. And to that I say don’t. There’s nothing wrong with posting something in the hopes that people will say something nice. It’s a victimless crime. Person saying something nice gets to feel like a nice person and person receiving the compliment gets to feel validated. WIN WIN.

    I guess this is a criticism of sorts but my new 2013 brand where I only point out something if I have a helpful viable solution or nugget. Pointing out the cake is burnt and won’t ever be unburnt is so 2012. Trim the bad bits off and smother it with frosting because the older you get the more cakes you burn and the less you’ll care. (yes this will all happen in the next 5 years lol)

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      That’s why I found the documentary so interesting – because I could relate to not receiving criticism well yet soliciting it. Sometimes, life is ironic and the things we do don’t make sense .

      And I like you’re new way of thinking in 2013!

  6. Reply

    Sohini Sarkar

    just wanted to say that one time i went crazy 🙂 and watched all the available fashion documentaries on netflix.. Loved them all. Favorite of mine is the tents.. seeing this post brought back the surge of excitement I had when I discovered that I could watch fashion documentaries on netflix!!!!!!

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