The legendary fashion illustrator and his entourage are brought to gorgeous life.
Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco is a full-throttle visual treat to behold. Documentarian James Crump intermixes extensive video footage of Antonio and his crew from the 60’s and 70’s with visual details of Antonio’s iconic drawings and interviews with Antonio’s models and friends. Interviewees include Bill Cunningham, Grace Coddington, Joan Juliet Buck, Michael Chow, Paul Caranicas, Patti D’Arbanville, Jane Forth, Pat Cleveland, and Jessica Lange. This incredible cast of fashion and entertainment legends tells us everything they remember about Antonio. Their stories are intimate, deeply moving, and often hilarious.
The star of these stories, Antonio, comes to us as his closest friends remember him. The man they describe is intensely sexy, cares deeply for those around him, and sees the world through such a unique lens of color and passion that he magnetically draws in everyone around him.
Crump follows Antonio’s career chronologically, from his early days at FIT all the way to when he passed away of AIDS in 1987. We watch as Antonio and his creative partner Juan Ramos meet Bill, Jane, and Patti and begin to reshape the world in their own vision. Later on, Antonio and Juan take their art to Paris, where they fall in with Karl Lagerfeld and discover Grace Jones and Jerry Hall.
Crump bombards us with sexy and glamorous images of this posse vacationing in Saint Tropez, dancing all night in Paris clubs, strutting about in the most outrageous outfits, and all the while laughing, smiling, drawing, creating. The great miracle of the film is how bright, gleaming, and alive it feels. Each moment of the screen time breathes and pulsates.
At the close of the film, the audience is sure of several things. Firstly, Crump’s documentary is a stunning marvel that pays fabulous homage to an underappreciated visionary who changed the fashion industry forever. Secondly, Antonio and his entourage lived in a world with its own set of rules and mythology and quite possibly had the most fun of anyone in those wild decades.
Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco was screened as part of the DOC NYC festival. The film is directed by James Crump.
Photo credit: DOC NYC.