William Klein has passed away. Klein was an innovative photographer and filmmaker who wasn't afraid to critique media industries from within. His films like Mr. Freedom and Mode in France satirized society and the harsh impact of the fashion world. His most celebrated work among Spy Vibers was the film Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (1966), which used cinema verite to create a mockumentary about a TV crew chronicling the life of a young model. It's especially interesting as a time capsule of the culture reconciling this new fascination with youth and changing ideals of beauty during what was termed the Youthquake. The film, which featured Grayson Hall (Dark Shadows) and appearances by Peggy Moffitt and Richard Avedon, also wove contemporary mod fashion and espionage fantasy into its fabric. I've devoted a section in my upcoming book to the film. In the clip below, Klein staged a wonderful satire of avant-garde and pop-art fashion by having models fitted into massive abstract shapes cut from sheet metal. I think it's one of the best scenes from the Sixties. Klein died on September 10th at the age of 96 (two days after Queen Elizabeth II, also at 96).
September 12, 2022
WILLIAM KLEIN R.I.P.
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