Susana Benavides and Bruno Ierullo prep for a fashion show: not exactly gripping stuff.
MATERIAL SUCCESS (Jesse Mann). Opens Friday (April 27) at the Projection Booth. See listing. Rating: NN
Let's put on a show! That's what Mickey Rooney used to say in those iconic musicals he made with Judy Garland in the 30s.
That same kind of enthusiasm drives Toronto-based fashion designer Bruno Ierullo as he prepares for his first runway presentation.
Thing is, that energy and some good production values are about all Material Success has to offer. It's a blow-by-blow account of how Ierullo and his trusty seamstress, Susana Benavides, mounted his mammoth 300-piece extravaganza in 2010.
But there are huge gaps. Who is this guy? Where was he trained? How could he suddenly afford to stage one of Canada's largest-ever fashion shows?
And, except for some tension over meeting the production deadline, there is zero conflict, even though you can practically smell it in the air. Show designer - as distinct from fashion designer - Paul Langill has the kind of ego tailor-made (ahem) for a personality clash with nice guy Ierullo, yet it never happens.
Instead, the focus is on Ierullo's drive, his obsession with colour and craft - a sequence with a button manufacturer attests to his attention to authentic detail - and his harping on the cliché that you should only do what you love.
If you've never seen what it takes to put on a fashion show, Material Success might intrigue. But it's not exactly a grabber.