The Library Is Open With Benny Drama and Marc Jacobs Platforms
by Trishna Rikhy
02 February 2022
Marc Jacobs’ iconic platforms are notoriously hard to find — but in Lidow Archive’s debut short film, they’re as common as books in a library. Accompanied by a sophomore lookbook, the short film “The Library Is Open” catalogs the business’s collection of Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 Marc Jacobs platforms in the Shoe Library, paying homage to the designer and his legacy.
Starring founder Haile Lidow and comedian Benny Drama, the film takes viewers on a whimsical, campy journey through the Marc Jacobs archives of the queer-owned-and-operated rental business, which boasts names like Lady Gaga, Olivia Rodrigo and Lil Nas X on its styling roster.
“Since I was a little kid, I loved film and TV in a way that transported me, convinced me for a small amount of time that I was living in the world on screen,” Lidow tells PAPER. “In making this film I realized that the creative satisfaction in putting together an outfit is less about ‘fashion’ and more about creating a character, embodying a version of myself that I wouldn’t otherwise know how to describe. Directing and co-writing this film gave me the opportunity to spill the depths of my strange thoughts without having to use words at all.”
In “The Library Is Open,” the peculiar Shoe Librarian (played by Lidow) escorts a haughty Benita (played by Benny Drama) through the wondrous pieces in the Shoe Library (complete with a Shoe-y Decimal System), culminating in a series of mini storybook-esque adventures in the jungle, a disco setting, a silent film and a romance novel — with Marc Jacobs’ towering sky-high shoes being a shining star of every scene.
“I first met Benny when I was hired to style him for a holiday video for PAPER back in 2019,” said Lidow. “I learned a lot from observing him that day, and I still think about it frequently when I have to be in-front of the camera. But Benny is just so unbelievably sweet and understanding that I got comfortable pretty quickly, and at the end of the day he was the real star, so I could always fall back on that and let him take the lead.”
Full of camp, color, drag and decadence, “The Library Is Open” draws from its extensive range of famously scarce Marc Jacobs platforms. In the film, there are enough pairs of Marc Jacobs shoes to warrant a classification system; in reality, the Lidow Archive has an impressive 18 pairs of Marc Jacobs platforms, with the Shoe Library having been custom-built based on their measurements to be perfectly displayed.
“The rooms hold over 500 pairs of shoes,” said Lidow, “but the shelves were essentially designed solely for those Marc boots.” See the full video, below.
Photos courtesy of Lidow Archive