I have a weird rule that I only like to watch movies ONCE, but fashion-related documentaries are 100% the exception to the rule. Always fascinating, and full of insight and inspiration, I've found that they've contributed greatly to my understanding of a fashion icon, a trend, an era, and a side of the business that I haven't explored (yet).
There's a blockbuster set of them coming out this spring that made me want to revisit the subject and compile the ones to check out in a theatre near you, or at home.
Iris: A documentary by renowned documentarian Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens) takes us into the world of life-long New Yorker and style icon Iris Apfel, who worked with her husband in the textiles business for decades, and is revered worldwide for her unique personal style, spawning an exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute along with collaborations with brands as diverse as MAC Cosmetics and eyebobs eyeglasses, to her own accessories line for HSN. Screenings begin April 29th in New York City.
Dior and I: With only eight weeks to go before his first collection debuts for Dior, newly minted creative director Raf Simons certainly has his work cut out for him! This documentary finds new ways to tell the tale of this storied house, gracefully interweaving Christian Dior's story with Simons', with rare behind-the-scenes footage of the atelier as they prepare his first collection for the brand. Screenings in the USA have already begun, with more viewing options in theatres globally, right now!
Older Documentaries NOT to be Missed:
Inside the Mothership Although it's a hair under 15 minutes long, this behind-the-scenes look at Fendi as the brand readies itself for its spring/summer 2014 is directed by one of my favorite fashion documentarians, Loic Prigent, and features a Karl Lagerfeld cameo. Need I say more? See link above to view it on Fendi's You Tube channel.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel Legendary Vogue editor and fashion icon, Diana Vreeland led a fascinating life and career in fashion, and possessed unusual and pioneering qualities. Definitely a tinge of The Devil Wears Prada can be found in her biography! Available on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon.com to rent/buy.
Advanced Style The blog by the same name is inspiring and enlightening, but the documentary, featuring some of blogger Ari Seth Cohen's most beloved subjects brings aging and style into full view. It's a glorious revelation through these women's eyes—and clothes. Available on Netflix and Amazon.
Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston It may feel a it kitschy and contrived at first, but barrel through the beginning to get to the heart of Halston's success, demise, and untimely death, told to Whitney Sudler-Smith by Halston's close friends and muses, including Liza Minelli and Patricia Cleveland. Halston lead the way in many aspects of fashion, from fabric innovation to the high-low collection collabarions so popular today. Available on Netflix and Amazon.
Marc Jacobs + Louis Vuitton I've probably seen it no less than 10 times, but no matter; this is still my all time favorite documentary! Also directed by Loic Prigent, this one juxtaposes the world of Marc Jacobs to that of his work for Louis Vuitton, revealing the creative process behind the shows he produced for each, practically simultaneously, or years. Most fascinating, at least for me, is to consider where inspiration may come from, and how an inkling of an idea has the potential to quickly blossom into a striking garment and/or accessory.
Are there are any fashion documentaries you'd like to add to the list?
[Photo via Magnolia Pictures]