Fashion-based video network M2M has unearthed a long-forgotten documentary by filmmaker Martin Scorsese about Italian fashion icon Giorgio Armani. Made more than twenty-five years ago, the 1990 film Made in Milan is Scorsese’s only short-form documentary, and now it’s hit the internet.
At first, it may seem as though Scorsese and Armani don’t have a lot in common, except that they are both trailblazers in their respective professions. However, the two men are actually longtime friends. In 2014, Scorsese published a letter celebrating the fashion house’s 40th anniversary, in which he says Armani “isn’t thinking of just outward appearance on a red carpet but also comfort in everyday life. His designs are all of a piece, and they are quietly detached from the fads and trivia of the moment. As I said, timeless elegance.” Scorsese also produced a commercial for Armani (included below) that looks like a scene straight out of Goodfellas. In 2001, Armani served as executive producer on Scorsese’s documentary on Italian fashion, and designed some of the suits worn in the recent film Wolf of Wall Street. In other words, Scorsese and Armani are an unlikely match made in fashion documentary heaven.
You can definitely notice Scorsese’s classic cinematic style come through in Made in Milan, which was written by a long-time collaborator of his, Jay Cocks (Gangs of New York, Mean Streets). The film, voiced entirely by Armani, follows the designer through Milan, his studio and onto the runway. Armani speaks about his love of Milan’s elegance, his “uniform” of blue suits and his appreciation of film. “Now I realize that movies were my first real love,” said Armani. “I would like to have been a director. This passion is still in my blood.” He laters adds that he views life as a movie, and his clothes as the costumes. He also speaks of his own self-doubt, and wonders if what he creates is really good, or just good because it has the Armani label: “Every day I pretend I’m sure of myself, that I know what I’m doing.”
It’s a great segment that is sure to thrill both Scorsese and Armani fans. It allows for an intimate view into the inner-workings of Armani’s creative process, and because it’s created by Scorsese, you can’t help but be gripped by it. Read our review of Scorsese’s latest film Silence here, and watch the 20-minute Made in Milan below, plus Scorsese’s Armani commercial beneath that.