In honor of the start of fashion week (full schedule of shows here), I thought it would be a great idea to talk about fashion documentaries. Being that I am a lover of history…Fashion history (yes I’m a nerd) and love indulging in a great documentary, my curiosity lies in learning the beginning of a thing, whether it is a house, magazine or designer. So here are my top favorite fashion documentaries (in no particular order):
1. The Eye has to Travel, Diana Vreeland 2012
I’ve mentioned the great editor/fabulous fashion icon Diana Vreeland in another post. I love her, simple as that. Known as the “Empress of Fashion”, the movie documents her illustrious career, undeniable influence in the world of fashion and a peek inside of her personal life. If you graze or devour Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue magazines, you should definitely check this one out.
2. The September Issue, 2009
As you guessed, the doc is all about Vogue magazine’s 2007 September issue, the biggest (sometimes 500 pages!) issue of the year. Countless established and young designers dream of getting on those pages and Wintour does not make it easy. The doc goes behind the scenes and details the steps involved in getting the issue to print. There are note worthy appearances of heavy hitters in fashion: Grace Coddington (read her memoir!), Oscar de la Renta, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano (I still consider him a heavy hitter). Models, photographers, stylists, editors and movie stars all color the timeless documentary.
3. Valentino: the Last Emperor, 2009
Beautifully shot and told, this is the story of the life and times of Valentino Garavani, Italian fashion designer. Intimate and vivid, the viewer gets a peek of the prestigious man of the hour and the remarkable career he has led. It’s Valentino…enough said. If you are looking for inspiration, look no further!
The ultimate showdown between the well established giants of the fashion universe (at that time) and the little known, often discounted American ready to wear designers. The iconic runway show took place at the grandiose Versailles Palace and featured show stealing African American beauty Pat Cleveland. The American designs wowed their competition earing respect and a play among fashion royalty. The more experienced French team comprised of Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin and Emanuel Ungaro were powerhouses and considered the leaders of couture fashion. The less known American team was represented by Anne Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Halston, Bill Blass and Stephen Burrows. The rockstar competition changed the face of American fashion and the use of African American models forever.
Honorable Mentions (worth watching if you have the opportunity):