If you guys follow me on Insta stories, you probably know that I’m a sucker for classic, stylish movies. Well another obsession is documentaries, particularly fashion-related ones. Maybe this makes me a nerd, but I love the educational, historical aspects of documentaries, and they often get my creative juices flowing. I also love any opportunity to spend time with my girls, so what better reason to get together than to geek out over fashion documentaries! Sometimes you just need a girl’s night in, am I right? I’ve put together a list of the top fashion documentaries that inspire me, and which every fashionista needs to watch. Consider them a rite of passage! You’ll learn so much about icons and designers of different generations, and finish each one feeling inspired and motivated. So grab your besties, a few bottles of wine, some nibbles, and work your way through this list to celebrate your one true love, fashion! If you watch any, tell me what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!
Franca tells the story of Franca Sozzani, the long-time editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia. Sozzani was greatly known for her revolutionary, and even controversial, developments in the world of editorial fashion, and she sadly died just after this doc – which was created by her son – was finished. That makes it all the more moving and poignant to watch.
If you loved The Devil Wears Prada, then you’re in for a treat. This documentary highlights actual behind-the-scenes takes of Anna Wintour, long-time editor-in-chief of Vogue, in the process of American Vogue’s September 2007 issue. In case you didn’t know, September is known to be the biggest, most important issue of the year. The star of this doc however is Grace Coddington, who’s witty retorts and clear disdain for being filmed, makes it beyond entertaining!
Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue
Another sneak peek into the crazy world of Vogue, this time in the UK. This series showcases the drama of photo shoots, runway shows, and even some industry rivalry. It’s also the first time British Vogue has ever allowed TV cameras inside and brought back so many memories from when I worked at Vogue.com with a lot of the editors featured!
The Gospel According to Andre
Take a look at the life of André Leon Talley, as he reflects on his upbringing from the segregated American South to his renowned fashion career. He is almost 7 feet tall and larger than life in every way. I’ll always remember meeting him in an elevator in the Ralph Lauren offices in New York. He was wearing an enormous fur coat and told me he liked my style…I nearly fainted!
This one’s about Carrie Bradshaw’s best friend. You got it – Manolo Blahnik. Before becoming one of the world’s most celebrated shoemakers, he was making shoes out of sweets wrappers for lizards as a little boy. This documentary explores a never-before-seen look into Blahnik’s world.
This film showcases the up close and personal world of Christian Dior and the genius that is Raf Simons, as he prepares for his debut season as the new creative director. It’s fascinating to see inside the historical house, watching the seamstresses work 24 hour shifts with coffee after coffee, and seeing the emotion and major nerves that Simons encounters right before his runway show.
Frankly, this list would not be complete without an appearance from French Vogue. Mademoiselle C delves into the life and reputation of Carine Roitfeld, the editor-in-chief who ran the magazine for 10 years. She is major goals, from being a badass boss to a mum and wife.
Diana Vreeland was a celebrated fashion editor, most notably for her work in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. I always remember the designer Matthew Williamson recommending i read her autobiography D.V. (it’s epic – have a read), after which I was hooked by her ballsy approach to fashion shoots, her legendary red-walled office at Harpers Bazaar, and her infamous one-line quips such as, “Pink is the navy blue of India”… LOL. The documentary celebrates her enduring influence and impact on fashion from the 20th century to now.
Olivia Palermo’s fave! This is all about the life of the legendary (and uber-tan) Valentino Garavani, how he built his fashion empire in over 50 years and the relationship with his business partner and companion, Giancarlo Giammetti.
Bergdorf Goodman has been a landmark on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan for over 100 years. This film explores how the distinguished Bergdorf’s garnered its top of the class reputation and how the most established fashion designers made it to the crème de la crème of department stores. Plus, I love feeling like I get the inside scoop with interviews from designers like Rachel Zoe, Diane von Furstenberg, Karl Lagerfeld, the Olsen twins, and more!
Are there any others you think should be on this list? Tell me below!