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Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion Disco

by Roger Walker-Dack
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Sep 12, 2018
'Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion Disco'
'Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion Disco'  

The illustrator and fashion maverick Antonio Lopez was an extraordinary cultural figure in the 1970s. His name will hardly resound at all with most people these days, but to a whole clique of the famous fashion and creative souls who lined up to be interviewed for this new documentary, he was nothing less than a God.

Born in Puerto Rico in 1943, Lopez grew up in the Bronx alongside Juan Ramos, a childhood friend who would become his collaborator and partner for the rest of his life. Lopez got his start when he studied at Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.), but then when he was discovered during an internship at Women's Wear Daily he left school to work for them.

But it was his stunning unique work for "Elle" that started to get Lopez noticed - and turned the world of fashion illustrating upside down. He collected a coterie of other creatives that he loved to hang out with, including makeup artist Corey Tippen and photographer Bill Cunningham (who died in 2016 soon after filming of this doc was finished). He also attracted and discovered beauties who would go on to be very successful in their own right, like Jessica Lange, Grace Jones, Pat Cleveland, Tina Chow, and Warhol superstars Donna Jordan and Patti D'Abbenville.

In 1969, Lopez and his tight band of followers flew to Paris and were taken under the wing of Karl Lagerfeld, who was so enthralled with them and their work he lent Lopez and Ramos his grand apartment. Summers in Saint Tropez with Lagerfeld followed for the Lopez clique, and included others that he discovered, like the 17-year-old Jerry Hall, who became Lopez's fiancé for a short time.

As keen as all of his friends were to line up for director James Crump's camera to talk about the genius of Antonio Lopez, all of them - men and women alike - also have stories of how sexually driven Lopes was, flitting from a constant stream of boys to girls with great ease. It would seem that all of them fell in love with him and his abundant flow of charm at some time or another.

Lopez's prime was at a time when the fashion industry was being revolutionized: The old world of couture was being replaced by the exciting new world of ready-to-wear, and he played an important role in how that was all presented and perceived. It was an era where outsize talent and larger-than-life personalities like Lopez were not just recognized, but positively adored.

Sadly, it all came crashing down when the AIDS epidemic hit. Lopez, working until the very end, died in 1987, aged just 44. His partner Ramos survived him until 1995, when he also died of AIDS. 

Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex Fashion & Disco

The life and career of fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez and his colorful and sometimes outrageous milieu.


Runtime :: 95 mins
Release Date :: Sep 14, 2018
Language :: Silent
Country :: United States


Herself :: Joan Buck
Himself :: Michael Chow
Herself :: Pat Cleveland
Herself :: Grace Coddington
Himself :: Bob Colacello
Herself :: Jane Forth
Herself :: Jerry Hall
Herself :: Grace Jones
Himself :: Karl Lagerfeld


Director :: James Crump
Writer :: James Crump
Producer :: James Crump
Producer :: Ronnie Sassoon
Film Editor :: Nick Tamburri

Roger Walker-Dack, a passionate cinephile, is a freelance writer, critic and broadcaster and the author/editor of three blogs. He divides his time between Miami Beach and Provincetown.


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