it was william klein’s astute observations and exposure to the avant-garde in paris, which culminated in his first film ‘qui êtes-vous, peggy magoo?’… a docu-fantasy on the fashion media scene of the 60’s.
as a post-war art student in paris he took to the streets and became the influence on street photography which still inspires the likes of the sartorialist, scott schuman today. his departure from conventional fashion photography at the time earned him his pioneering colors and when it came to cinematography, he introduced a spell of ironic wisdom that was unheard of at the time. the context of a sixties-fashion-obsessed culture that blurred the barrier between couture and street wear was not unlike what we experience today and his perceptive film remains just as valid.
the fellini-esque elements are not by co-incidence either since he had worked with the italian master before but the extent of his commentary encompasses a wider realm. the film is spiced with wit and insight. his acute portrayal of the media machine as an obsessive and disrespectful television host or a maternally dictatorial editor in chief is beyond observant and by adding a familiar but twisted fairy tale starring a melancholic supermodel and communist prince he draws some very fine parallels that connect the abusive and the aspirational in a fantastically modern romance. aside from the film his photographic style has become an iconic framework for many that came after him and will for many more… i believe william klein’s work has a sensationalist density which he portrayed with deft precision and a talented awareness.