Fashion industry is a massive industry, from designers, to magazines, models, photographers and even brands. It is very much diverse and the wonders of the fashion world is simply astounding. Fashion documentaries are limited and we have listed some of the classics and newly introduced films that you must watch. While some films focuses on singular fashion mavericks, others showcase events that are iconic and instrumental to the fashion world. Watching these films will make you aspire and hungry to work in the fashion industry.
1) The September Issue
Every August, American Vogue comes out with The September Issue, the mother of all American Vogue issues. The September Issue is traditionally the biggest, most important issue of the year. It is the start of a new year in terms of fashion and school (because in U.S., autumn season is back to school season), thus it is the time of important cultural happenings, where re-engaging with the outside world is must after the frivolous, endless fun of summer. Thus magazines capitalise on that. The September Issue documentary follows editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington, Vogue’s creative director, on how these two powerful ladies in fashion, create the biggest fashion bible of the year.
If you love fashion but you how to dress up or fond your style, then learn from 94-year-old Apfel, who was the face of Kate Spade New York. She is the grand dame of fashion and interior design. She doesn’t care about going to a party, she cares about dressing up for them. Apfel is always decked out in vibrant colours and fashionable clothing, combined with her iconic round glasses, you get the Apfel look. IRIS portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life’s sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment. Despite the abundance of glamour in her current life, Iris Apfel continues to embrace the values and work ethic established during a middle-class Queens upbringing during the Great Depression. She states that she feels lucky to be working. And if you’re lucky enough to do something you love, everything else follows.”
3) Bill Cunningham New York
Fashion photos from shoots to runways, can be rigid and staged but sometimes the best photos are the candid ones that are on the streets. And one fame photographer, Bill Cunningham, has been documenting street fashion since forever. This documentary showcases the photographer’s work of street fashion for renowned newspapers and magazines. There would not be any street style without Bill Cunningham becoming the pioneer of documenting streetwear fashion. This documentary also delves into the private life of this fame photographer. The film showcases Cunningham’s work space and his simple private life.
4) Crazy About Tiffany
Tiffany & Co. is so iconic because of its its white ribbon and robin’s egg blue packaging synonymous with sparkle, luxury and the Holly Golightly attitude Audrey Hepburn brought to life by Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961. Tiffany & Co. brilliant marketing campaign and stunning jewellery attracts many ladies to buy them and leave many dreaming of owning their Tiffany diamond. The documentary, directed by Matthew Miele, shows the company’s involvement in production and also having candid celebrity cameos from the likes of Rachel Zoe and Katie Couric. The film also shows an exclusive clip of Jessica Biel picking out her jewelry for the 2015 Academy Awards. You can’t resist watching this film because it is the only way to get a glimpse of those sparkling diamonds from behind the scenes.
5) The First Monday in May
The Met Gala/Ball previously known as The Costume Institute Gala, is one of fashion’s most prestigious and glamorous event on the fashion calendar. The grandeur of the ball exudes elegance, class and a touch of fantasy makes you feel like a peasant as you watch A-listers from film, movie and art industry decked in extravagant gowns and suits for the event. The Met Gala has been around since 1946 and the annual iconic event finally has its own documentary film. Editor-at-large, Andre Leon Tally describes the event as the Superbowl of social fashion event. The ball marks the opening of the Metropolitan Museum’s grand opening of The Costume Institute spring exhibition. The annual event takes months to prepare and organise and every year has a different theme, such as 2015 China: Through The Looking Glass and this year’s theme was Manus x Machina. It is extremely difficult to get in as a ticket costs $30k a piece and it is by invite only. The best bet is to watch the documentary, it’s free.
6) Valentino: Last Emperor
This film shows first-hand of Italian maestro Valentino Garavani’s life and illustrious 45 year career. Valentino has dressed many influential women most notably Jackie Kennedy, that shot him to global stardom. His couture designs are simply elegant, glamorous and beautiful and behind the scenes footage was never film. Thus film maker and Vanity Fair journalist, Matt Tyrnauer, got access to film that fashion house which took two years to complete. Aside from the glitz and glamour of Valentino’s life, the film also shows the fatigue and frustrations that comes with job.
7) Alexa Chung’s Future of Fashion
Here is one documentary that you don’t need to subscribe to Netflix or download it. You can watch this docu for free on British Vogue’s YouTube channel. Hosted by model Alexa Chung who explores the fashion industry from the inside. Her journey is guided by questions submitted by Vogue viewers. Chung interviews industry players such as Oliver Rousteing and Christopher Kane, and answers some burning questions like how to get into fashion and what jobs you can actually do once you’re in the industry.
These films are great to watch during your lazy Sundays as they provide unprecedented access to fashion brands, magazine, personal lives of iconic fashion figures and industry insiders. So get a cuppa, snuggle up in bed and turn on your laptop to stream these films!