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Approximate Running Time: 04:50:31
Released: 2002
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2013 XRCO Hall of Fame Inductee plus
Winner of 10 AVN Awards including:
2003 AVN Award Winner for Best Film
2003 AVN Award Winner for Best Director
2003 AVN Award Winner for Best Actress: Taylor St. Claire
2003 AVN Award Winner for Best Editing - Film: Tricia Devereaux & John Stagliano
2002 XRCO Award Winner for Best Film
2002 XRCO Award Winner for Best Director
AVN Top 500


Legendary director John Stagliano crafted what many consider to be one of the best adult films ever made. He shot it on 35mm film with very high production standards and a budget to match. It was an ambitious project that was to create an erotic experience as much as a movie. It was not intended for the novice or casual viewer of adult films. Ironically, the release of Fashionistas became an unparalleled event and a milestone in the adult entertainment industry. Fashionistas went on to win 10 AVN awards that year and even spawned a highly successful, critically acclaimed Las Vegas stage show that ran on the Vegas strip for four years reaching a larger and more pervasive audience than the normal adult fare.

Original Liner Notes:
This is a very high budget adult film with extensive story/action sequences, exquisite wardrobe, and cutting-edge, full-length, very hard sex scenes. There are also several full-on S&M scenes with very real action. These elements fit together in a dramatic mystery love story that takes our lead character Antonio (Rocco Siffredi), an Italian fashion designer, on a wild sexual ride into the underground S&M scene. His guide is Helena (portrayed by real-life dominant, Taylor St. Clair). His phantom obsession is Jesse (Belladonna, a woman with the most incredible sexual abilities I've ever seen). Shot on 35mm film, with the lighting and production elements of a mainstream motion picture, this is by far my most ambitious project. It is a highly charged erotic experience, not intended for the novice porno viewer. -- John Stagliano

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Editor's Review


John BUTTMAN Stagliano achieved the seemingly impossible with his multi-award-winning, endlessly lauded FASHIONISTAS in as much as that he has singlehandedly revolutionized adult cinema. Of course, this did not occur totally out of the blue – so to speak – when one takes the guy's track record into consideration with instant classics like SHADOW DANCERS, WILD GOOSE CHASE and FACE DANCE to his credit. But even those fine features could not prepare yours truly for the levels of searing sexual sophistication and sheer film-making brilliance on display here. Its narrative complexity, done absolute justice by Stagliano's subtle storytelling techniques and a trio of incredibly accomplished central performances, appealed to the art-house aficionado lurking deeply within this old carnally inclined carcass.

In as satisfying an illustration of the old adage concerning "getting the best of both worlds" as you're ever going to see, the production values are pure mainstream with gorgeous cinematography and lighting enhancing the ambiance, dreamlike dissolves and a superlative and richly varied soundtrack. Just in case you didn't catch on yet, this movie has Masterpiece stamped all over it…and then some!

Celebrated Italian fashion designer Antonio, played by the always imposing Rocco Siffredi, is trying to conquer the American market with his seductive but staid fetish clothing when he's contacted in a most unorthodox way (which I'll let you discover for yourself) by the fledgling yet groundbreaking Fashionista group run by the formidable Helena (Queen of Curves Taylor St. Claire in a career performance). His attention piqued, Antonio is further lured in with the incentive of a pliant slave girl (Kate Frost, who got her start in "young girl" videos à la VIRGIN STORIES and TEEN TRYOUTS) for the first of the film's many jaw-dropping sex sequences that may push your boundaries as well as your buttons. Despite Helena's elaborate orchestrations, which include the overwhelming blonde aurora of busty Friday and ethereally pale Sharon Wild supplemented by her own surprise appearance for a draining group spectacle with constantly shifting distribution of power, Antonio finds himself increasingly drawn to the Fashionista's resident computer geek designer Jesse (exceptionally well- portrayed by the supremely sensuous Belladonna, perhaps the most incredibly intense porno performer since Chloe) who'll eventually prove to be a closet submissive relying on Helena's good graces for more than just a paycheck. With these three characterizations in place, Stagliano's saga is ready to roll as their motivations are gradually revealed. Speaking of which, this just about constitutes the entire amount of plot I am willing to divulge at this point.

Part of the film's pleasure resides in trying to guess where it'll go next and whether the age-old question of "Who's the master and who's the slave?" will finally be answered to everyone's satisfaction. Maybe just a teeny tiny word of warning concerning the amazing Crevice Club sequence that takes up most of the film's second half with snooty Caroline Pierce forcefully indoctrinated into…no, no, no, I really must slap myself on the wrist and keep mum. Trust me, you'll thank me for it! While adventurous couples may eventually enjoy the movie's heavily B&D/S&M-slanted sexual content, this is clearly not an adult film for the inexperienced first time viewer or, indeed, the weak of heart.

All the extreme goings-on are handled with such an impeccable sense of style and an unerring "eye" for the erotic however, that even those not so inclined will ultimately be won over. In perhaps another intriguing "first," Stagliano has married mainstream porn to specialty fare, taking the union much further than many surely expected. If the somewhat abrupt ending, following the awe-inspiring Antonio/Jesse encounter the whole feature's been building up to, gives the impression of leaving several loose ends dangling, viewers can take heart in the fact that the director has decided to continue the tale with the just-released THE FASHIONISTAS : SAFADO and the announced THE FASHIONISTAS : BERLIN. I, for one, await with baited breath.

-Review courtesy of DirtyMovieDevotee