A great fashion documentary can take us to the farthest corridors inside the most glamorous fashion houses. It can spark inspiration and show the greatest geniuses of the fashion industry, it can change whole career goals. Thank god cameras are allowed in places an average person would never be able to step a foot in, this way we can see how Raf Simons made his debut Dior collection or how Anna Wintour is turning down solutions in preparation for Met Gala.
Here are my picks for the best fashion documentaries.
Franca: Chaos and Creation (2016) dir. Francesco Carrozzini
A beautiful portrait of Franca Sozzani, the legendary editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue, made by her son Francesco Carrozzini. Looking back at how Franca broke the fashion rules by making never before seen controversial cover stories with Steven Meisel over the past 25 years. With interviews from Karl Lagerfeld, Bruce Weber, Courtney Love and many others, Carrozzini gives us a great glance into his mother’s creative process.
Deeply insightful, soft and admirable, this film is a love letter from a son to his mother.
Available on Netflix.
Bill Cunningham: New York (2010) dir. Richard Press
Following the life of the 80 year old photographer Bill Cunningham, who has been a columnist for the New York Times for over thirty years. His greatest interests in fashion are spotting fashion trends before they have gone viral and documenting them as worn in everyday life on the street, as he cycles everywhere. Sadly passed away on June 25th, 2016 – six years after the making of this documentary.
Dior and I (2014) dir. Frédéric Tcheng
In April 2012 Raf Simons was announced as the new creative director of womenswear for Christian Dior, after John Galliano’s 15 year run. This fascinating documentary brings us behind the scenes of Raf Simon’s first haute couture collection, the inspirations for it and the big preparations.
The First Monday in May (2016) dir. Andrew Rossi
Follows the creation of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most attended fashion exhibition in history “China: Through the Looking Glass” lead by Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
Met Gala is the biggest fashion event in the world, as we know it, and the preparation for it is even bigger.
British Vogue YouTube documentaries with Alexa Chung
Over the recent years British Vogue has been releasing various documentaries: How to get a job at Vogue, The future of fashion, How to break in the fashion industry and other, all lead by Alexa Chung, the coolest British writer, model and fashion designer.
The September Issue (2009) dir. R. J. Cutler
Vogue magazine’s 2007 fall-fashion issue was then to date the single largest issue published in the magazine’s history. This documentary follows the making of it lead by the legendary editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and the only person who can stand up to her Grace Coddington. Featuring many different fashion icons, the film takes us inside the fashion world’s corridors of power – direct, shocking and so inspiring.
In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye (2012) dir. F. Bailey & R. Barbato
Made in the year of Vogue magazine’s 120thanniversary, the film takes a brief look at many of the fashion world’s most influential editorials and images, told by iconic magazine’s fashion editors. Starting from the first Vogue issue ever, it tells the whole story how the magazine came together as we see it today.