House of Z film to be screened at Hot Docs 2017

April 24, 2017

Following its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival yesterday, House of Z  (a documentary about the renowned American fashion designer Zac Posen) will have its Canadian premiere at the Hot Docs, Canadian International Documentary Festival 2017.

Directed by Toronto-based Sandy Chronopoulos, the film is a “phoenix story” of a rapid rise to fame and success, fall and comeback of Zac Posen.

The film’s narrative consists of a chronological development of Posen as a personality, his early involvement with fashion, creation of his brand and subsequent downfall. The second half of the film focuses on the preparation of Zac’s comeback with his fall 2014 collection that successfully put him back on a fashion pedestal.

Director Sandy Chronopoulos puts the focus on Posen in the House of Z. From his art to his passion to his business, all is laid bare.

Fortunately, Posen’s family extensively documented his childhood and adolescence. The film boasts a rich archival footage of young Zac, from playing dress-ups with his friends and throwing amateur fashion shows, to establishing the House of Z with his mother Susan as the CEO and his sister Alexandra as the Creative Director.

Outspoken and extremely talented, well-connected and charming, Posen quickly became famous at the young age of 21, attracting investors like Sean “P.Diddy” Combs with his financial input and celebrity influence. Posen created the facade of success and glamour that in the end of the day played against him, when recession hit in 2008.

Gossips, bad reviews, dropping sales and discord with his family had almost destroyed Zac Posen as a person and as a brand. In the film, he gets very emotional about that period of time, which he survived with his partner by his side.

Zac Posen has appeared on hit tv shows like Project Runway, offering advice to up-and-coming designers.

However, Posen is a true artist and visionary. His creativity and passion are evident, his success is earned with hard work and dedication. The team efforts and the tension that goes into creation of a couture collection make the viewer empathize with the designer. Is he going to finish the collection on time? Is it going to be a successful show? How will critics react after such harsh press in the past?

House of Z features a star-studded cast, including P.Diddy, Naomi Campbell, Claire Danes, André Leon Talley and many other top people from the fashion industry.

House of Z illustrates Posen’s drive to succeed in the fashion industry, despite bad reviews and the recession.

During the Hot Docs Film Festival, the film has two screening times:

  • Wednesday, May 3 at 9:30 p.m. at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
  • Thursday, May 4 at 1:45 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

Jeanne Beker will moderate the Q&A following the screening on Wednesday, May 3.

It’s a fascinating, well-made movie and will be of an interest to anyone who is curious about fashion and art, and wants to see more than the glamorous superficial side of the business.

By Darina Granik
Photography by / courtesy of the Hot Docs Film Festival

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