Unzipping Nanook of the North

Nanook of the North (also known as Nanook of the North: A Story Of Life and Love In the Actual Arctic) is a 1922 silent documentary film by Robert J. Flaherty, contaminated by docudrama, at a time when separating films into documentary and drama did not yet exist.  In 1989, this film was one of the first 25 films to be selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.


Isaac, Inspired By Nanook Of The North sketches fur pants. Scenes of Unzipped reveal the designer sketching in bed as he watches Nanook of the North—“All I want is to do fur pants!”—and convincing his supermodel participants to don his designs behind a see-through scrim “so the audience can watch models dress backstage.”


Isaac Mizrahi. Fall-Winter 1994 collection


There is a scene in Unzipped where one of Isaac Mizrahi’s minions tentatively approaches him with the latest issue of WWD featuring Jean-Paul Gaultier’s collection based on a similar Nanook of the North theme. Isaac reacts to the catastrophe by venting his frustration on the meek messenger. “Don’t show these things to me I’ve not been looking at it. Just don’t show it to me. You showed it to me. It’s like you took some evil pleasure in it.”


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