When it comes to human drama, what we're used to seeing (on cable, anyways) is a series of petty, manufactured crises trumped up by various Housewives. We pick sides, we make fun of the hysterics, we go about our lives unmoved.
It's about as far as you can get from the very real, highly personal drama captured in "Next Chapter: Miles David Atelier," a 15 minute documentary by Cody Bess that premiered at David Peck's Miles David storefront in Montrose on Wednesday night. The film spans two months last fall, covering Peck's surprising announcement that he was closing his locally beloved fashion line over financial problems and his Phoenix-like pivot to launch his new line, Miles David, less than three months later.
Peck doesn't delve too deeply into the problems that plagued his first business, but he does reflect at length on what closing meant to him.
"The reality was that no matter what we did and how hard we worked we just couldn't keep up, it was too many things," Peck tells the camera at one point. "Pulling the plug and making that transition, the decision to say goodbye to all that was one of the hardest things I've ever done... It was really daunting to think that I may never do this again, perhaps I'll never be able to be in charge of a brand again like I was before, and being willing to give that up took a lot."
In addition to the self-reflection, the video mostly follows Peck as he talks to the press, sets up new social media accounts, manages construction on his showroom, works with his seamstresses to design and produce the new collection. It's a window into what it really takes to work in fashion, and it's juxtaposed smartly against the moments of glamour that are produced when everything falls together, like a gorgeous photo shoot and the fashion presentation where he launched his Miles David line. The film doesn't crow over Peck's second act success, preferring to let the designs on display speak for themselves.
I was struck by the prescience of Peck in bringing in a photographer to catch him working through his career transition—at a time when most of us would rather hide away from the world. The narrative of redemption feels a little oversimplified, but when watching, it's impossible not to root for Peck, who throughout the film seems tired but determined to make the most of the second chance he was offered and was thoroughly touched by the outpouring of support from his Houston clients and friends.
Curious? You can watch the full documentary below.