While “The Devil Wears Prada,” and “Sex and The City,” did bring attention to the fashion industry, there are far more interesting films that give you a behind the scenes look in the world of fashion. The average consumer believes fashion to consist of pretty fabrics, and schedules of parties, celebrities and brunch, but there are the not-so-glamorous moments. Below is a list of documentaries that range in topics from the construction of the glossy pages of the fashion bible, Vogue, to the unveiling of the dark activities that happen in order make T-shirts that cost less than a footlong at Subway.
While many argue this film as the “Anna Wintour” documentary, there is an equal roar from the general public that the film focuses on then Creative Director, Grace Coddington. Throughout the film you can see the many steps that go into the over 800 page issue. The September issue is THE issue to buy if you are not a loyal subscriber. To quote Candy Pratts Price, “September is the January in fashion, it’s when I change.” The most interesting part of the film is getting to see the construction of the actual magazine, from photoshoots in Rome, to the boardroom of Condé Nast as Anna presents the issue.
2. “Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s”
“If fashion had a home, this would be the address.” I discovered this film earlier in 2016. If you have not heard of Bergdorf Goodman’s ask your nearest Fashionista. Every design student, heck every designer strives to have their work sold at Bergdorf’s. A designer knows they have truly made it when they can get their collection into the storefront. The film is full of interviews ranging from celebrities to stylists, to the employees of BG themselves. The best part, is a behind the scenes look at the infamous window displays.Forget the lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas tree, New Yorkers truly know it is the holiday season when Bergdorf unveils their holiday window display.
There is no one truly like Iris. A fireball of a woman, with a quick wit and the haggling skills of a born salesman. Iris Apfel is an iconic fashion maven. Her flamboyant dress, and personal style is enough to write an entire textbook about. The best part? She doesn’t let the fact that she is 87-years-old slow her down (Now 89-years-old). The film also gives you an AMAZING look at the Fashionista’s apartments full of clothes and accessories, yes I said apartments. Apfel has also created her own exhibition solely based on her fashion collection totaling well over 80 items. Throughout the film, Iris provides more than fabulous accessories but also sage-like quotes of wisdom.The film is about more than fashion, but a celebration of life. If you take anything away from this film, “When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else.” – Iris Apfel.
4. “The First Monday In May”
The film focuses on the most exclusive social event in New York City, the Met Gala. In 2015, The Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted the most attended exhibition yet, “China: Through The Looking Glass,” curated by Andrew Bolton. The event is almost a perfect homage to Anna Wintour, a beautiful collaboration of fashion and celebrities. The film includes interviews with Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Guo Pei. The best part about this film as that it explains how politics, entertainment, art, business, and fashion are connected. Get a behind the scenes look at the planning of the exhibition including building permit problems and making enough room for Rihanna’s entourage and crew. I think it is important to note that her performance cost more than Kanye’s.
5. “The True Cost”
The most groundbreaking film to hit the fashion industry this century. Ever wonder where that $3 T-shirt that is hanging in your closet came from? Wonder who made it and how it could cost so little? This documentary takes you around the world, to understand the supply chain of fast fashion. Lately, the industry has been under attack for the unveiling of the harsh impact it is making on the environment. The good news, people are taking action. Many companies are attempting sustainable clothing lines. However, true change will not happen unless the general population makes changes to their own lives. The film takes you from the brightest and boldest runway shows to the dark and dingy slums. After viewing, you will ask yourself, “Who truly pays for my clothing?”
Have a favorite film that makes your inner-Fashionista/o scream with joy? Let us know.