Fashion documentaries are a great way to gain insight into a fascinating industry that’s often unpredictable and insular. Indeed, these films truly provide an eye-opening glimpse into the fun, fast-paced and often stressful lives of editors, models and designers. If you’re at all curious about the industry, here are a few must-see movies.
Fashion Documentaries: Unzipped (1995)
Unzipped takes viewers behind-the-scenes as designer Isaac Mizrahi plans his Fall 1994 collection. A box-office hit when it was initially released, the documentary still stands as an important piece of pop culture. Importantly, the audience truly gets a sense of how Mizrahi operates creatively. And they’re also privy to appearances by a who’s who of supermodels including Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Shalom Harlow, Carla Bruni, Kate Moss, Helena Christensen, Christy Turlington and Amber Valletta, among others.
Fashion Documentaries: The September Issue (2009)
Supremely successful, The September Issue provides an amazing window into the inner-workings of the illustrious Vogue Magazine. Throughout the film, viewers follow Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour as she creates the (titular) 2007 September issue along with her larger-than-life team of editors. Wintour is every bit as complex and compelling a character as she is polarizing – and that makes her meetings (and the film overall) thrilling to watch!
Fashion Documentaries: Bill Cunningham (2010)
This film is an endearing profile of The New York Times legendary fashion photographer. Indeed, thanks to his keen eye, Bill Cunningham has brilliantly captured the industry over the last few decades. Even better, he proves to be a fascinating, gentle soul as well. Trust us – the documentary packs a surprising punch!
Fashion Documentaries: Diana Vreeland: The Eyes Have to Travel (2011)
An editor at both Harpers Bazaar and Vogue, there’s no denying that Diana Vreeland led an incredible life. This documentary, which is rather comprehensive in scope, pays a fitting tribute to a woman who understood how to elevate fashion to an art form.
Fashion Documentaries: Iris (2014)
The penultimate documentary from the late Albert Maysles (who also directed Grey Gardens), Iris follows New York’s style maven Iris Apfel as she vividly recounts her life – from her early career running a textile company with her husband Carl to her to her recent re-emergence as a fashion icon. Wearing her trademark round, black glasses, Iris is wholly witty and charismatic. And she is full of astute observations, no matter whether she is showing us her amazing collection of unique items or simply commenting on life, fashion and beauty.