Fashion documentaries are a great way to start if you want a glimpse under the curtains that hang behind the fashion industry. They deliver new concepts on every aspect of the industry, be it streetwear and dressmaking, to celebrate individual fashion icons and publications. An excellent fashion documentary not only sparks fantasy but also inspires career ambitions.
In addition, just like artists and art forms, fashion documentaries give broad and rare behind-the-scenes glimpses for individuals who have crafted the fashion industry. Below are leading documentaries that give you that satisfaction.
This documentary explores the life of the British fashion icon Alexander McQueen who started his career in his teens and got established as a designer after launching his label, which continues to date. It uses the runway as the backdrop of his life story with grafted interviews with his family members throughout the documentary. However, McQueen cuts his life short, but there’s the tremendous beauty of revisiting his work and getting an insight into the smoother person he was.
2. Nailed it
Nailed It is a documentary that shows how the Vietnamese in America took over the nail business. The film depicts several nail salons owned by the Vietnamese and how they strive to maintain their heritage. The documentary takes you through the legacy and genesis of the Vietnamese nail salon, the various nail polish sets founded by them, and its inspiration on the 8 billion dollars American nail art industry.
3. Catwalk (1995)
It’s an excellent documentary of the fashion industry and so worth it specifically for the runway enthusiasts. It has presented a frank look at fashions’ elite without a filter. Moreover, it shows how Christy Turlington drinks backstage and her attending fittings for the channel in Paris. Watch the documentary and get a whole backstage experience of the fashion icons presented in the documentary.
4. The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards (2017)
The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards is a documentary that follows fashion’s acclaimed shoemakers as his shoe-making business flourishes. Follow the dream of Manolo Blahnik if you have a plan to own any of his highly praised mules and much more from watching the documentary.
5. Dior and I (2014)
Dior gives you a glance into the world of dressmaking, which explores the life of Raf Simons. It equally shows the challenges of becoming an artist, director, and creator of new visions in just eight weeks. The documentary pays attention to his Petites, who make his work come to life, and his intense high-pressure journey in the fashion industry.
6. Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008)
Valentino Gravani, a world’s celebrated designer, announces his retirement after 50 years of founding his fashion house, documented in the movie. In addition, it explores the personal and professional life of the fashion icon, acknowledging his career as he prepares for retirement after his final show. The relationship with his long-life partners is also explored in the documentary.
7. Iris (2014)
Iris is an in-depth documentary portraying a woman’s life with untiring energy, cheerful nature, and free spirit. It reminds you that style is ageless, but fashion is momentary. The character in the documentary Iris Apfel earns herself a firm place in New York as the most legendary fashion icon due to her grandiosity. Furthermore, you get educated on shopping habits from watching Iris shops, understanding the diversity of clothes and jewelry, and acquiring designers and plastic surgery knowledge. Explore many other issues tackled in the documentary to learn about the fashion industry.
8. Versailles’ 73: American Runaway Revolution
This documentary revisits a significant moment in the fashion industry that sees the French Haute tailoring establishment. It’s a must-watch for fashion lovers as it serves as a history lesson and road map of the state of the industry and its form in past times. The documentary also points out several key players in the fashion industry and the unstoppable drama between them.
There are well-laid explanations of fashion elements such as gender, race, culture, among many more aspects. These elements come together to allow American designers to gust into the global fashion scene and give American fashion a place in the industry.
9. Dries (2017)
Dries is a fashion documentary that follows the life of a designer from Belgium, Dries Van Noten. With different cultures to warm the austerity of reality harshness, the documentary successfully shows Dries culture. Life at his home, meetings in the studio, and the fantastic backstage moments at his shows. Watch this documentary, love the fashion, the scenery, and enjoy Dries life as portrayed in the film.
10. Martin Margiela: In His Own Words (2020)
The documentary adapts the life of fashion legend Martin Margiela. Throughout the documentary, the focus is on his hands as he makes garments, writes a note, and handles his treasured objects from his childhood from Genk in Belgium. After going through his upbringing, the movie shows his career history from his memorable creations to his unconventional shows in the salvation army stores and how he finally exited the industry in 2009.
There are several fashion documentaries available today; however, if you want to understand the fashion industry, primarily as one interested in fashion, the above are the top films in the industry. Therefore, enjoy and be amazed by the fashion industry from where it began, its journey to where it is currently. Additionally, get to understand the life of significant fashion icons in and outside their workplaces.