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A Savage Life in Fashion, Narrated by Joanna Lumley

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Percy Savage started fashion PR, introduced Saint-Laurent to Dior, created the Mary Quant explosion, invented fashion video and established London Fashion Week. This fascinating documentary tells the story of his glittering career and extraordinary influence on fashion, beauty and design. Narrated by iconic model and actress Joanna Lumley, the film features rare archive, exclusive footage, the first-ever interview with Savage and interviews with a host of fashion icons – Mary Quant, Hubert de Givenchy, Yuki – as well as other eminent designers, journalists and historians.

A Savage Life in Fashion is about a man whose influence was everywhere but is unknown outside the industry. Raised in the Australian outback, Percy arrived in Paris in 1947 – the year Christian Dior launched his New Look. He would later become a friend of the man who revived the glory of couture and, inadvertently, provided the name for the most famous of Dior fragrances: Eau Sauvage. It was at the House of Lanvin that Percy was asked to start the first Propaganda department, as it was then called, eventually renaming it PR. During his years in Paris, Percy weaved himself into the Parisian fabric and counted Dior, Beaton, Cocteau and Maria Callas among his friends. Whilst in Paris he travelled the globe, promoting and exhorting designers, journalists, buyers and manufacturers. He introduced Yves Saint-Laurent to Dior and created the explosion that was Mary Quant. He was PR for Nina Ricci during its heyday before moving to England in the 1970s. Percy had been asked by the powers-that-be to put London on a par with Paris, which he did, albeit at his own expense.

A Savage Life in Fashion opens amidst the refined excitement of the Christian Dior 2004 Spring/Summer couture show. Placing Percy within the contemporaneous reality of haute couture is made all the more pertinent as the film looks back at a post-war, history of fashion, in particular Percy’s career in Paris and the foundation of fashion as we recognise it today. This retrospection provides an insight into what makes fashion perennially fascinating and forever reflective, both positively and negatively, of who we are.



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