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Fashion Documentaries That Will Alter Your Perspective

Fashion documentaries were once sidelined as a frivolous look at a seemingly frivolous industry. The format seemed to be populated more with rare behind-the-scene glimpses of the mysterious, impenetrable fashion houses rather than offering a factual exposé on this multi-million dollar industry.

Now, everything has changed.

Find out the truth about fashion. From haute couture to the sobering realities of what keeps the fashion industry’s cogs spinning, the following documentaries offer real-world insight while still retaining their entertainment value. After watching these films, you’ll feel like you’re falling in love with fashion all over again.

The September Issue (2009)

Source: British Vogue

The aptly-named documentary follows the making of American Vogue’s 2007 September issue, which is known to be the most important issue of the year. This documentary gives you unprecedented access to the inner workings of Vogue. Although the film is centred on American Vogue’s Editor in Chief, Anna Wintour, it’s Grace Coddington – Vogue’s creative director – who really steals the show. Her flame-red hair and steadfast passion help to shatter myths that surround ideas of what working at Vogue are really like.

Dior and I (2014)


For a peek into the world of couture creations, watch Dior and I, which tells the story of Raf Simons’ inauguration as the Creative Director at the house of Dior following his appointment in 2012. What this documentary encapsulates are the challenges he faced while creating his debut couture collection in just eight weeks. Something special about the film is that it also pays homage to the seamstress who brought his beautiful collection to life.


Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008)

Photo: Getty Images 

Valentino Garavani is one of the world’s most celebrated designers. In this documentary, his professional and personal life are explored. It also pays tribute to his career as he prepares for his final show before his retirement in 2007. Finally it gives a closer look into what really happens to a multi-billion dollar industry once the founder retires.


Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer(2015) 

Photo:Square Space  

This documentary tells the Cinderella story, of Moschino designer, Jeremy Scott. Originally from humble beginnings this documentary captures how Jeremy endured obstacle after obstacle to get to where he is today, and you will get to take a closer look at the man behind the flamboyant,tongue-in cheek designs that have made Moschino a world-renowned brand. In the movie there are cameo’s from countless stars including Rita Ora, Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus.


Lagerfeld Confidential (2007)

Photo: British Vogue

What does a day in the life of Karl Lagerfeld look like? Lagerfeld Confidential gives you a peek into the everyday routine of the world renowned designer who is behind brands such as H&M, Chanel and Fendi. Lagerfeld is known to be notoriously private. This documentary gives camera’s exclusive access into never before seen spaces, from his chaotic Parisian apartment to a flight in his private jet, giving you an insight into the man behind the infamous dark glasses.


The Director: An Evolution in Three Acts (2013)

Photo: British Vogue

It now seems almost impossible to imagine the fashion label Gucci without Alessandro Michele at the helm. However, from 2006 to 2014 the Italian brand was under the direction of wonder woman, Frida Giannini. This documentary follows the famously press-shy designer, exploring the past, present and future of Gucci in Frida’s eyes, over the course of three collections.


Bill Cunningham New York (2010)

Photo: British Vogue

Bill Cunningham New York, portrays the late photographer and longtime New York Times contributor at work. The original street style snapper Bill Cunningham, made his name photographing the colourful streets of New York identifying trends that were unconventional and interesting. He was renowned in the industry and beloved by all because of his kind demeanour and his foresight to see beyond current trends.

OWN Visionaries: Tom Ford (2011)

Photo: OWN Visionaries 

OWN gets rare access into the multi-faceted life of Tom Ford. Not just as a fashion designer but as a photographer, a film maker, a visionary. It shows Ford really building his brand at his London Studios and at his photo shoots which are fueled by the passion and sensuality of the brand. He also addresses his work, the inspiration behind his designs and his controversial ad campaigns.



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