Janne Schellingen

3 Aug 2020
Film & TV

9 Must-See Fashion Documentaries

If you’re new to the fashion industry or know all about it already, a fashion documentary is always welcome. To make things easier for you, we’re listing our nine favorite must-see documentaries.

1. Dior and I

The beautifully shaped 2014 documentary Dior and I follows designer Raf Simons and the creation of his very first haute couture collection for Christian Dior. A lot of pressure was put on Simons’ shoulders as he designed his first collection in only eight weeks. The documentary reveals the hidden side of all the preparations for the new collection. From design to the moment his collection is released, Dior and I follows Simons through it all.

You can watch ‘Dior and I’ via YouTube.

2. Dries

Released in 2017, Dries offers a glimpse into the life of the Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten. For an entire year, director Reiner Holzemer documented Van Noten as he designed four collections. It was the first time ever that Van Noten allowed a filmmaker to follow him throughout his whole process of creating a collection, which makes the film all the more special. It’s an intimate insight into his life and mind and definitely worth the watch.

‘Dries’ can be found on Vimeo.

3. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel focusses on the influential fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, Diana Vreeland. Released in 2011 and directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, and Frédéric Tcheng, the film documents the personal and professional history of the famous editor as she looks back at her life. Vreeland is seen as one of the most influential women of the 20th century, an icon who changed the face of fashion, art, and publishing. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel travels through New York in the roaring twenties, London in the swinging sixties, and many other cultural eras.

If you’re interested in watching this documentary, you can find it on Vimeo.

4. Wonder Boy, Olivier Rousteing, né sous X

Olivier Rousteing became the creative director of Balmain at the young age of 25 and transformed the brand into a major international player. The moving 2019 documentary, Wonder Boy, Olivier Rousteing, né sous X, directed by Anisse Bonnefont, follows Rousteing as he tries to uncover his origins. He was adopted under the French system known as ‘sous X’ where the birth mother can ask for full anonymity, and Rousteing makes it his quest to uncover who his birth parents are. The film digs deeper than other documentaries exposing the personality behind the face Rousteing creates for himself on social media.

5. McQueen

McQueen is an absolute must-see. Co-directed by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui in 2018, the documentary is based on the life and career of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen. The film features interviews with colleagues, friends, and family of McQueen. McQueen combines archive videos of his shows and interviews with home videos of the designer hanging out in his studio. The result is a compelling, powerful insight into the iconic designer’s life.

This documentary is also available on YouTube.

6. Martin Margiela: In His Own Words

The name Reiner Holzemer must ring a bell by now since he directed the 2017 documentary Dries. Martin Margiela: In His Own Words takes on another Belgian fashion designer, Martin Margiela. In twenty years, the designer created 41 collections without talking to the press or showing his face to the public. For the first time ever, Margiela gives an insight into his life, work, and youth all while still staying anonymous.

If you live in Belgium, you can watch the documentary on dalton.be. In many countries you can find the documentary on Itunes. Go to the Martin Margiela film website to discover which countries are on this list.

7. The True Cost

This eye-opening documentary isn’t about a famous designer but about clothing. Made in 2015, The True Cost offers an insight into the impact fast fashion has on nature, society, and mankind. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. “Who pays for our clothes?” is the tagline of the documentary. It features interviews with Stella McCartney, Livia Firth, and many others and tries to open your eyes while discovering the many people and places behind the clothes we wear.

‘The True Cost’ can be found on Vimeo.

8. The September Issue

The September Issue is a 2009 documentary directed by R.J. Cutler that follows Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and her staff during the production of the September 2007 issue. The September issue is traditionally the start of the new fashion year. With almost 900 pages and weighing over half a kilo, the issue of 2007 was the thickest issue ever released. The documentary gives a view of what happens behind the scenes prior to the release of the magazine.

US residents can watch this documentary via IMDBtv.

9. Karl Lagerfeld Sketches His Life

In Karl Lagerfeld Sketches His Life, directed by Loïc Prigent, German designer Karl Lagerfeld sits down and talks about his life. He goes over a bunch of sketchbooks and draws and narrates his life. Lagerfeld goes over his childhood, business ventures, and more. Even though it’s a single-shot documentary, it’s still amusing to watch the vivid narration of his exciting life.

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