I had thought of writing this post for quite a long time but I ended up taking an insane amount of time to choose the specific fashion documentaries I wanted to list. It was a difficult choice. There are so many others that didn’t make the list but these deserve to be watched too. In some cases it was difficult for me to be objective for various reasons, which I will talk about, and yes, I definitely could have made this a longer list. The reason I made it shorter is because I wanted this list to appeal to even those not particularly interested in fashion. I also tried not to focus on documentaries about specific fashion houses or designers. Even as someone interested in fashion, I find these interesting but not very illuminating about the fashion industry as a whole. I wanted to focus on those fashion documentaries that give us a understanding of how specific areas of the industry works. Hope you enjoy the list. All I ask is get yourself a coffee and at least watch the trailers!
1. Bill Cunningham New York
I was quite upset when Bill Cunningham died. Which is a little silly since the man was almost 100 years old. But this was the man who pretty much invented street style photography and consequently, street style. For the longest time, his column in the New York Times is the only thing I read on the NYT site – I used to follow it pretty religiously.
His ideas of fashion and style is something I am quite on board with – to the most extent. I like his wholesome idea of style – its more about the person as a whole than a specific outfit. Although I have to admit his book wasn’t something I enjoyed very much – loved it while reading it but probably would not recommend you buy.
Although this recommendation seems to go against my focus for this list of wanting to exclude specific individuals and fashion houses, I liked the broader focus this documentary gave to the New York photography scene and street style photography. An iconic line from the documentary is Anna Wintour saying, matter-of-factly: “We all get dressed for Bill”.
I declare this one a must watch. I don’t care if you are interested in fashion or not, if you wear clothes you need to watch this film. I thought I knew what I had to know about the fashion industry and the environment but we have so much to learn. This one is mandatory viewing.
3. The First Monday in May
If you follow fashion you will know why this date is so important. It is the date of the MET Gala. The MET Gala takes place to open the newest exhibit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Outside of the actual fashion week runway shows, this is the biggest event in fashion and art.
I found it extremely interesting to see the behind the scenes take on the organisation and details required to come up with a fashion event of this stature.
4. The Secret World of Haute Couture
Even after being interested in fashion, haute couture was something I had not heard about or was aware of for the longest time. This is basically the Olympics of fashion. Most fashion now is ‘pret’, which is ready to wear while there are a few fashion houses that are still certified as ‘haute couture’ or high fashion houses. All my questions about haute couture were answered watching this documentary – Who buy this stuff? How much does it cost? How long does it take to make? Whats the big deal? Now I totally get what the big deal is. The best part is the whole documentary is available on Vimeo.
5. The Future of Fashion
Technically this isn’t a documentary but a series of videos produced by Vogue and hosted by Alexa Chung (who I love!). I feel this series is an excellent source to understand different part so the fashion industry from publishing to designing to models, bloggers and so on. Again, the whole series is available on Youtube so this is very easy access. I would highly recommend this especially if you are thinking or are a part of the fashion industry is some capacity.
Hope you have lined up your to watch list with some of the documentaries and videos I mentioned. Please let me know if there are others you like – I love watching fashion documentaries so would love to see some more. Let us know on social media – you can message or leave a comment on Instagram. But also make sure you check out our Instagram stories. We are also on Snapchat and Twitter. You can subscribe for our emails for regular updates every time we post. Till next time.