October 18, 2001 - DNR

Behind the Seams

Indie film Garmento takes a comical look at New York's Seventh Avenue

"Lying, counterfeiting, backstabbing, foul play, extramarital affairs. Sounds like typical soap opera fare, but it's also the essence of independent filmmaker Michele Maher's comic tale of the garment industry, Garmento, which premiered in New York in late September.

Mixing her own real-life experiences, headline-making stories and a little fiction, Maher provides the audience with an inside view of the not-so-glamorous side of fashion.
Garmento is the story of Poncho Ramirez (Juan Hernandex), a fictitious jeans designer who attempts to reclaim his disco-era popularity with padded underwear for men.

While the anatomy-augmenting bikini brief turns out to be a flop, the overnight success of a new denim collection called PR Jeans leads to greed and ultimately, the demise of the people behind the company.

"The concept of a jeans line came from one of the companies I used to work for, and the underwear was inspired from the seeing advertisments around New York," said Maher, whose fashion experience includes working at such companies as Calvin Klein, Jordache and Rafaella.
"The packages" in those ads always seemed a little larger than life. I thought to myself, wouldn't it be funny if we could re-create that?"

Much of the 87-minute movie was filmed in the Joe Boxer showroom in Times Square, and the underwear manufacturer provided five thousand pair of the padded briefs for the screening audience, as well as for other promotional events.

Maher is currently looking for a distribution deal for Garmento and says, "Ideally we would like to have it made into a miniseries for cable." May we suggest Sacks and the City ? Sorry. -Elena Romero"