Five Fashion Documentaries To Watch
Spring is in the air, and many of us are preparing by switching up our wardrobes — paring through the old and adding in the new.
Sometimes it helps to have a little inspiration — or a little entertainment on a rainy day. Whatever the reason, add these five fashion documentaries part of your spring must-see list. From street style to modeling, a look inside one of New York’s biggest retailers and more, you’ll be entertained for days.
My top five picks:
Bill Cunningham New York, 2010
If you’re into street style, Bill Cunningham is your man. The New York Times photographer has been documenting fashion on the streets of New York — and fashion as a means of personal expression — for decades. A former Harvard dropout, hat maker and member of the U.S. Army, Cunningham has a fascinating story to tell. More importantly, he’s fascinated by the ways in which everyday individuals try and tell their own stories with clothes. “We all get dressed for Bill,” claims famed Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
Unzipped is a major fashion documentary pick because it was filmed at the height of the 90s supermodel era. Director Douglas Keeve gives viewers an inside look at the planning and, ultimately, showing of fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi’s 1994 fall collection at New York Fashion Week. Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Kate Moss all make appearances. A fun, fascinating film, Unzipped is pretty much a legend and standard in the world of fashion documentaries.
Diana Vreeland was a powerful force in the fashion world. During her 50-year reign as the “Empress of Fashion,” Vreeland advised Twiggy and Jackie Onassis, was the fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar (where she worked for 25 years) and the editor-in-chief at Vogue, and served a stint at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. The Eye Has To Travel was directed and produced, in part, by Vreeland’s granddaughter-in-law, Lisa Immordino Vreeland, and explores everything from Vreeland’s childhood to her move to New York and her respectable fashion career.
Bergdorf Goodman is a fashion institution, and while Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s isn’t a hard-hitting documentary, it’s an entertaining one that sheds some light on the legendary retailer. Lifted from a 1990 New Yorker cartoon by Victoria Roberts, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s combines behind-the-scenes glimpses into New York’s iconic department store with a multitude of fashion personalities: Tom Ford, Rachel Zoe, Diane von Furstenberg and more. How often do you get to see the inner workings and hear the untold stories of one of the world’s chicest shopping destinations?
Chasing Beauty, 2013
For anyone who’s ever watched America’s Next Top Model or been fascinated with the supermodels of years past, Chasing Beauty is a film to see. Modeling — a much-misunderstood and complex industry — is explored in this eye-opening documentary. The models themselves — plus photographers, casting agents, plastic surgeons, stylists and more — reveal the good and the bad. Every year, thousands of men and women arrive in Los Angeles, New York, and Milan looking for a modeling contract. Why? How many actually realize the dream? What happens if they do? Chasing Beauty tells all.