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Pasta at Pasolini's

Gucci's new doc offers a glimpse of life at home with Frida Giannini

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Franca Sozzani and Frida Giannini   
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There were several reasons to celebrate at Gucci's screening of The Director tonight. Co-hostess Emmanuelle Alt was celebrating her new arrival, a Jack Russell puppy named Vic (after a Sophie Marceau character). Daniel de la Falaise, wearing a black leather coat that his brother-in-law Marlon Richards' father, Keith, once sported onstage, was celebrating his first page as food editor of Paris Vogue and, beyond that, the arrival of his first book with Rizzoli—which, for anyone who has ever eaten his food or tasted his olive oils, will be a red-letter day. I was celebrating the fact that the screening was right downstairs in my hotel. No need to go out into the rain and bluster.

Christina Voros' film about two years in the life of Frida Giannini was screened to a crowd coming down from couture. Producer James Franco wasn't on hand; Voros said that, in addition to writing, teaching, directing, art-ing, and whatever else he's usually up to, he sometimes has to act, and this he was duly doing for director Werner Herzog in Morocco. But before the screening, she clarified how responsible he was for the film. They became friends when they were both studying film at New York University, and it was Franco who, four years ago, suggested Giannini as a documentary subject to Voros.

It wasn't an easy assignment. "Fashion and documentary film are antithetical," Voros claimed. But the project was well in keeping with the other ideas that have absorbed her as a documentary maker, exposing closed worlds to encourage understanding of them. One such was a company making pornographic films in San Francisco. "Leather and horse bits, that was my preparation for Gucci," Voros said, laughing. So what did I learn from The Director? I now know how Frida Giannini makes spaghetti alle vongole. I also know where she makes it, in her home at the seaside, which once belonged to Pier Paolo Pasolini. Now there's a summer séance to conjure with.

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