The First Monday In May: Tucson Fashion Week and Film Fest Tucson Takeover

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Photo Courtesy of Schaffer/Rogers

It is no surprise that a collaboration between Tucson Fashion Week and Film Fest Tucson would only bring a worthy understanding of fashion to the local Tucson arts and culture scene. Herb Stratford of Film Fest Tucson and Paula Taylor of Tucson Fashion Week are long time friends who have been speaking about the idea of a collaboration for quite some time; although, the two weren’t exactly sure what they wanted to collaborate on. Herb Stratford, film festival enthusiast, was involved in the restoration of Fox Theater and is also a local Tucson movie critic. When he heard about the premier of The First Monday in May at the Tribeca Film Fest in New York, he immediately reached out to the distributor about doing a special screening in Tucson, knowing this was the perfect opportunity for a collaboration with Paula. Herb said, “It is the perfect blending of Tucson Fashion Week and our Film Fest Tucson…”


Photo Courtesy of Just Jared

I had the opportunity to attend this highly anticipated event and the experience was nothing less than eye opening and inspiring. Not to mention, it TOTALLY solidified my passion for wanting to be a part of the fashion industry. The collaborative affair of Tucson Fashion Week and Tucson Film Fest hosted the Arizona premier of the movie, The First Monday in May, which premiered for the very first time in New York less than a week before. Paula Taylor, co-creator of Tucson Fashion Week, explains, “It really is about these two great organizations that promote creativity and art coming together and doing really neat things that might have never come to Tucson, or even Arizona. We are the Arizona premier…”

The First Monday in May follows the yearlong behind-the-scenes preparations for the 2015 Met Gala themed “Chinese Whispers”. Andre Leon Talley, former American editor-at-large for Vogue magazine claims, “The Met Ball is the Super Bowl of social fashion events.” The Met Ball marks the grand opening of the costume institute spring exhibition. Meanwhile, there is an ongoing debate that fashion cannot be considered “art”. The one and only, Anna Wintour believes, “You need the combination of art and commerce in this industry.”I couldn’t agree more; the Met Ball is the most anticipated fashion event of the year, as well as a fundraising gala that benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.


Photo Courtesy of New York Post

Vogue magazine’s editor-in-chief and chair of the event, Anna Wintour, hosts the annual Met Ball and a memorable star in the film. I just have to say, Anna Wintour will forever be the ultimate girl boss in my book. She knows exactly the way she wants things and refuses to take anything less and I absolutely love it. When I grow up I want to be Anna Wintour. Seriously, she doesn’t answer to anyone and no one even bothers fighting her on what she wants because they know they’ll immediately be shut down; it’s great. Who run the world, GIRLS! Not to mention, she’s totally sassy and the film incorporates some humor so the audience understands Anna Wintour is also human behind those infamous large and dark sunglasses. Which by the way, she only took off once during the whole film throughout the meetings, everything, the sunglasses were on.

Both Herb and Paula hope to raise awareness for each of their upcoming events in October. “It’s hopefully only the beginning of many small additional events” (Paula Taylor). I think everyone who attended hopes so too! Overall, I loved this documentary and the behind the scenes footage. It was extremely insightful and the Met Ball definitely seems like the party of the year– forever dreaming I’ll be able to attend someday. I love seeing Tucson grow in areas like these and I can’t wait to see where Film Fest Tucson and Tucson Fashion Week take the City of Tucson next!

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