10 Must-See Fashion Documentaries to Watch Now
For those of us who fantasize about spending a day in Carine Roitfeld’s shoes (guilty), a soon-to-be-released documentary is sure to satisfy that itch. The film, titled Mademoiselle C, promises an inside glance into the glamorous life of the ex Vogue Paris editor in chief.
The documentary, directed by Fabien Constant, features Roitfeld in her natural element: toasting designers at fashion shows, mingling with the industry’s who’s who at parties and adding her je-ne-sais-quoi to photo-shoots. The roster of famous faces due to have cameos in the film is impressive, to say the least. (Karl and Kanye are among them.)
The film, due to be released in September, was put out by the same production company that gave us a behind-the-scenes look at Anna Wintour (semi-smiling and sunglasses-free) in The September Issue. If Mademoiselle C is anywhere as revealing as its precursor, it’s sure to be a winner. It also got us thinking about our favourite fashion documentaries. From the publishing world to the private lives of top couturiers, film and fashion have long gone hand-in-hand. As such, we’re taking a look back at ten must-see fashion docs.
Yves Saint Laurent: L’Amour Fou
They say that behind every fashion designer is a fabulous business partner. In the case of Yves Saint Laurent his business partner doubled as his lover and the C.E.O of his label. Yves Saint Laurent: L’Amour Fou is a documentary about the relationship between iconic French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé. In the film Bergé discusses their 50 years together, sharing the ups and downs of the late Saint Laurent’s life and career.
The September Issue
The September Issue takes us behind the polished glass doors of American Vogue and into the office of its legendary editor, Anna Wintour. If you’re not sold yet, it also documents the making of Vogue’s September 2007 issue (which now sells online for upwards of $100). The must-see film sheds light on some of the typically behind the scenes figures, including Grace Coddington and Hamish Bowles, who get some much-deserved face time in the documentary.
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s
Equally as intriguing as a behind-the-scenes peak at Vogue is an all-inclusive tour of Bergdorf Goodman. Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s takes us through the store’s history, the people responsible for what it’s become and bring us up close and personal with Bergdorf’s current fashion director, Linda Fargo. From the window designers to the personal shoppers, the documentary caters to those shopping addicts amongst us.
Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton
Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton takes us into the world of the historic French fashion house owned by Bernard Arnault, who made the bold decision to appoint Marc Jacobs as artistic director in 1998—and good thing, too. The film discusses Marc Jacobs’s contributions to the house, modernizing their iconic bags, transforming the brand’s dated image and forming relationships with Hollywood’s It crew, who are now often spotted front row at any Louis Vuitton show.
Is there anything better than following Karl Lagerfeld around? The film takes us to photo shoots and fashion shows for Chanel, Fendi and his own Karl Lagerfeld brand. In this documentary, a first for Lagerfeld, three years of footage is compiled to give you an up close and personal look at the king of fashion who comes clean about his childhood, takes off his signature sunglasses and lets us watch him with his closest friends and colleagues.
OWN Visionaries: Tom Ford
The OWN Visionaries: Tom Ford documentary is similar to Lagerfeld’s in that it allows us to follow iconic American designer Tom Ford around his daily happenings, letting us in on the quirky lifestyle of the Oscar nominated film director and fashion mogul. The typically press-shy designer discusses his unplanned journey to fashion stardom and lets us in on the makings of his fashion comeback after taking time off the direct A Single Man.
Valentino: The Last Emperor
Valentino: The Last Emperor explores the life of Italian designer Valentino Garavani, focusing on the designer’s retirement. Valentino stepped down from his label in 2007. A slew of celebrations in honour of his 45-year career ensued, most of which are included in the film. The documentary also focuses on the Italian designer’s inner circle, including his relationship with his partner Giancarlo Giammetti.
In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye
Perhaps the newest documentary of the bunch, In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye was made in honour of Vogue’s 120th anniversary. The film features some of the magazine’s most iconic editors who discuss the makings of their most influential images. The documentary sheds spotlight on Tonne Goodman, Grace Coddington, Hamish Bowles and more, giving credit to those who are more often behind the scenes than front and centre.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel
Following the popularity of The September Issue came Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, a documentary about one of Anna Wintour’s predecessors at Vogue, Diana Vreeland, who also held a 26-year position as fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar. The late fashion editor’s magnetism shines through old footage of her discussing her career and her opinions on fashion. The film features cameos by a selection of her high-fashion followers including Diane Von Furstenberg who says (of Vreeland) “she saw things in people before they saw it themselves.”
Bill Cunningham New York
If you live in New York or consider yourself a frequent reader of The New York Times, then you’re probably familiar with the late Bill Cunningham. Known for his uniform of a cobalt blue windbreaker, a Nikon camera and red bicycle, the ever-humble Cunningham was the first to shed light on some of the biggest fashion designers of our generation. The documentary follows the father of street style photography around his hometown, New York City. Cunningham, who typically prefers being behind the camera, opens up about his life story and his views on style.