I’ll never forget the first time I watched the movie “Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?”: I was an impressionable teen in midst of a pretty intense Godard-watching obsession when I stumbled across the film at a local video store (when those, you know, existed). I remember bringing it home, popping it in, and watching with utter amazement. I asked all my friends: “Have you ever seen this movie?!” The unanimous answer was “No.”
The 1966, French-film is directed by the legendary William Klein and stars Dorothy McGowan as supermodel Polly Maggoo. (Weird fact: The film is McGowan’s first and only film role, she disappeared from the public eye and neither acted nor modeled again after its release.) The film also stars ’60s models Peggy Moffitt and Donyale Luna, and is shot in black and white.
When I moved to New York and started attending school I remember citing the movie as inspiration for most of my mood boards and design concepts—and yet still, nobody in class (or planet Earth) had ever heard of the film. That’s when I realized it was a super-cult film, and even more shocking, was that you couldn’t find it anywhere to buy or stream. (Now, you can happily watch it on Hulu+ along with the other Criterion Collection movies, which I highly recommend doing like, now.)
I’ve wanted to do something in ode to “Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?” during the past 3+ years I’ve been at NYLON, but for some reason, nothing ever felt right. That’s when I decided enough is enough; I have to do an entire beauty opener inspired by the film. So I did. I started by assembling the greatest team, all of whom being some of my best friends in the world: Michael Kozak (stylist), Fleury Rose (nail artist), Michael Anthony (make up artist), Remy Moore (hair stylist), Wes Sharpton (wig stylist), and Roxie Darling (wig colorist)—and I think what we ended up creating is pretty f*cking magical.
Basically, this November 2014 beauty opener is my love letter to my favorite film. If one person out there sees this opener and decides to watch the movie and falls in love with it the way I did, I’ll be happy. As usual, I brought my handy Fujifilm Instax Wide 210 film camera with me to capture some behind the scenes shots, so scroll through the gallery and see for yourself!