The fashion world has a magnetism that few other industries can claim when they mix art with. It is often not about presenting what is, but what can be (with the right main ensemble) that provides an intoxicating fusion of politics, geography, artistic freedom and self-expression that often sets the trends of the globe.
Movies like House of Gucci and documentaries such as McQueen offer rare glimpses behind the glittering curtain of the groundbreaking work of craftsmen, designers and fashion editors that maintains the appeal of the industry while giving fans a melodrama competition wrapped in provocative costumes. The best films about the fashion industry manage to find a balance between being authentic and preserving the mystery, and like the best runway collections, fans leave more.
McQueen (2018) – Available on Hulu
Considered one of the most daring designers in fashion history, Alexander McQueen entered the fashion world while still in his teens, and McQueen celebrates not only its world-famous brand, but the journey to its launch (he often spent money he received on state aid to buy drugs before he became famous), and its continued endurance even after the founder’s tragic death, which died of suicide in 2010.
Not only is the documentary astonishing to watch, it is brave, with both its rude subject matter (often considered unfair by his British critics) and its focus on the almost terrifying creations he conjured up. For those seeking answers to questions raised by his death, there are glimpses of how the pursuit of artistic expression under extreme pressure in a cruel and ruthless industry striving for superficial perfection adversely affected his mental health.
The Phantom Thread (2017) – Available on Hulu
Reynolds Woodcock, considered one of the most elitist couture dressmakers in British fashion in the ’50s, dressed movie stars, royalty and socialists. Two major events change the glamorous design of his life; the beginning of ready-to-wear, and the sudden appearance of Alma, a strong-willed woman who challenges her misogynistic views to become his muse and something more.
The Phantom Thread, widely regarded as one of star Daniel Day-Lewis’ best films, takes place at a time when designers like Woodcock went to wealthy clients’ homes and designed them an entire season’s wardrobe or hosted an intimate fashion show out of their living room, becoming more and more old-fashioned with the advent of runway shows in department stores. Fashion lovers will be fascinated by this unique time in history, and the portrait of a man whose sense of self-worth was passionately attached to it.
Unzipped (1995) – Available on Paramount +
Zipped out is a behind-the-scenes look at designer Isaac Mizrahi’s preparations for his 1994 fall collection, capturing a special moment in time when Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista were still on the runways, and 90s trends borrowed from Alfred Hitchcock, Judy Jetson, and every era of the 20th century.
In addition to capturing Mizrahi’s colorful personality (giving the documentary infectious energy), the film also reveals the difficult balance between commerce and art and Mizrahi’s creative drive, while reflecting on the bottom line, all the while remaining positive under pressure. And for or those who are nostalgic for 90s fashion, it can not be beaten!
Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton (2007) – Available on Prime
Although “LV” now dominates the international fashion world, the initials of Louis Vuitton once adorned suitcases and hat boxes before Marc Jacobs became its creative director and transformed the French brand into a juggernaut fashion house. He was considered the successor to Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and others, and imagined the appearance of an urban woman who mixed uptown glamor with downtown attitude, and every “it” girl from the 90s had his designs.
Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton is an exciting look at one of the fashion industry’s most exciting designers at the time, who constantly took risks and challenged what a fashion house and brand could be.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006) – Available on Hulu
As aspiring journalist Andy (Anne Hathaway) gets a job “a million girls would kill for” in a prestigious fashion magazine, she is unprepared for the demanding schedule, social sacrifices and verbal abuse of her boss, Runway’s wild editor, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Even as she learns to balance it all, she begins to wonder if it is her conscience worth having it all.
The devil carries Prada, based on the book of the same name, is a fictional launch of the fashion industry in all its splendor and backstabbing glory. It makes fun of thinly veiled archetypes and tropics, but manages to give them heart. When they see the gloomy reality of the fashion world, fashionistas wonder if all the elite shoes, clothes and lifestyles are really something to be desired.
In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye (2012) – Available on Prime
To celebrate Vogue’s 120th anniversary, In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye highlights the work of the fashion industry’s most acclaimed fashion editors and their methods of bringing stunning fashion images to life. Titanic characters like Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington lead the way with discussions of some of their best editorial articles, while prominent celebrities and readers discuss their influence.
For fans who marvel at the efforts made in a fashion shoot and editorial spread in magazines as prestigious as Vogue, this documentary not only sheds light on such secrets, but reveals the talent that goes into creating the iconic looks that shape American style.
Cruella (2020) – Available at Disney +
Because Cruella is an origin story, much more time can be spent with the creepy designer (Emma Stone) before her transformation into the infamous Disney villain. As she skillfully climbs the professional ladder of the Baroness’s (Emma Thompson) fashion house, working on her “revenge angle” for her mother’s death, she learns the importance of style in devilishness as she creates her alter-ego.
Fashion lovers will notice the influence of Dior (soft, feminine, textured) in the baroness’s designs and dresses and Alexander McQueen (edgy, punk-rock couture) in Cruella’s best outfits, while the feud between women erupts in a kaleidoscopic fashion. war.
The first Monday in May (2016) – Available on YouTube
When the fashion exhibition “China: Through the Looking Glass” debuted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2015, it became one of the most visited exhibitions in The Met’s history, giving visitors a chance to see how much Chinese culture had influenced it. western fashion designs via 150 breathtaking garments created by 40 designers.
Through a series of interviews with Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, Lady Gaga and many more, the documentary explores the concept of fashion as art, as well as the topic of cultural appropriation and the duty of fashion designers to pay tribute to their inspirations. in their work rather than claiming their concepts.
House Of Gucci (2021) – Available on HBO Max
Ridley Scotts House of Gucci is the dazzling true-crime story of murder so scandalous that it could only come from the fashion world. It follows Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) as she marries into the powerful Gucci designer family and a life of luxury, only to see it all collapse when her husband (Adam Driver) leaves her for a younger woman. Desperate and furious, she decides to strike where she can inflict the most damage and plans the murder of the heir to the family fortune.
Although it sometimes turns away from facts to better communicate the emotional center of the story, there is no doubt that the creative freedoms are in the service of the plot to make it more entertaining. To witness the family dynamics that bleed between the Gucci clan and the House of Gucci is to see an important (but not always glimpsed) side of the fashion industry where reputation is everything.
Dior & I (2015) – Available on Prime
This French documentary sheds light on the talented staff of fashion house Christian Dior as Raf Simons, its newest creative director, gathers his leading haute couture collection over two months (a task the film explains that usually takes five or six) .
From fashion to editing, Dior & I. is beautifully tailored as it hammers in a very specific point; it takes a lot of work to make its glamor look effortless. A hectic mix of industry people, veteran artisans (some have worked for Dior for 40 years) and the celebrities who swear by the brand, it has a paradox at its center; a shy Bulgarian designer who prefers to stay out of the limelight even though his creations require it, much like his legendary predecessor.
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