Beyond Biba [DVD]
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Documentary about Polish fashion designer Barbara Hulanicki who founded iconic clothes store Biba, in London in the 1960s. Born in Warsaw, Hulanicki studied in England at Brighton School of Art and later opened Biba in 1964. The store, known for its plush decor, became a social haunt for film stars and musicians while its affordable fashions appealed to the young public. After Biba closed in '76, Hulanicki continued in the industry and has also moved into interior design.
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What the film does so well is let the story tell itself without it being infused with useless snippets of information, instead being very disciplined in providing a brilliant 60 minute documentary as opposed to a drawn out 95 minute one.
The DVD itself is packed with extras and the highlight is an engaging and interesting commentary from the production team who really give an insight for filmmakers and Biba fans as to how they made the film whilst also providing fascinating and humorous anecdotes that are not included in the narrative of the film.
What shouldn't be overlooked is the fancy packaging that the DVD comes in. A very nicely embossed case with bespoke postcards inserted really does make this feel like a collector's item and sticking with the Biba ways it definitely has a high sense of design and creativity in it!
Overall this is a must for anyone who used to worship the Biba brand or someone who wants to find out more about the world of Barbara Hulanicki and I for one am not disappointed with my recent purchase
In 1964, she opened her first Biba shop in London with the help of her late husband, Stephen Fitz-Simon. The shop offered affordable fashion and soon became known for its stylishly decadent atmosphere and lavish decor inspired by Art Nouveau and Deco. It became a hangout for artists, film stars and rock musicians. Anna Wintour even started in fashion as a Biba employee!
In 1973 Biba moved to huge premises in London that offered five floors of Biba magic. However, outside investment and creative interference eventually led to the shop closing in 1976, but Hulanicki continued to work in the fashion industry, designing for other labels. She presently resides in Miami where she has a very successful interior-design business.
What this film does so well is use archive footage to let the story tell itself. In today’s world of the fast paced multinational conglomerate fashion industry it’s hard to imagine a 60's ‘Biba’ or 'Mary Quant' moment ever happening again.
This is a must for fashionistas and for anyone who used to worship the Biba brand; Beyond Biba has been made with sensitivity for a time that is now sadly gone forever.
In 2009, the British department store House of Fraser bought the rights to the Biba label. In 2014, Hulanicki agreed to serve as a consultant for Biba, the first time since 1975 that she had been involved with her own created brand. It's not Biba as we knew it, but it's better than nothing.
and I am sure it's well done, I was saddened twice during my attempts to get it.
This DVD delivery is available only for the UK addresses, so I had to use my friend's address in London, so he could send it to Moscow.
I think November films should have nothing against foreigners seeing this doc, no?
And the second: the DVD I received was not similar to the one I saw on the amazon.c.uk page. It is packed in a cheap standard plastic box which does not look gorgeous at all for a present (and for Biba!). It is not "Limited Collector's Edition" as described. So beware.
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