10 fashion documentaries to stream for Fashion Week
It’s the most stylish week of the year — so what are you streaming?
New York Fashion Week kicks off on Thursday, and between the new fall/winter collections being unveiled on the runway and the scene-stealing street style getting photographed outside, we’ve got major style envy.
The shows in New York are the hottest ticket in town, so we’ve got the next best thing for anyone who wants a closer look at the art form and the industry but didn’t score a front-row seat. Stream in style this week with these glamorous fashion documentaries, which offer detailed looks at the lives of the designers, editors, photographers, and the wearers themselves of the clothes we love so much. Happy watching!
House of Z (2017)
This recent documentary from filmmaker Sandy Chronopoulos traces the meteoric rise, spectacular fall, and redemptive rise again of fashion designer Zac Posen (whom you might also know as a Project Runway judge and enthusiastic Instagram chef). The film premiered at Tribeca last April and became available for streaming just as NYFW ’17 arrived in the fall.
Available on: Netflix
Bill Cunningham New York (2010)
The runway shows are only half the story of Fashion Week. The street style is just as important — and that’s where Bill Cunningham comes in. “We all get dressed for Bill,” Anna Wintour says in Richard Press’ documentary about the legendary photographer, whose work is as much anthropological study as it is fashion appreciation. “The best fashion show is definitely on the street,” Cunningham says. “Always has been, and always will be.”
Available on: iTunes, Amazon Prime, Amazon
Dior and I (2014)
In 2012, designer Raf Simons — whose résumé at the time included the launch of his own menswear label and a stint as creative director at Jil Sander — took the reins at Christian Dior (and would shock the fashion world by stepping down from the post in 2015). Frédéric Tcheng’s dizzyingly beautiful film documents the creation of Simons’ first couture collection as creative director of the storied French house six years ago.
The First Monday in May (2016)
Once a year, the starriest artists in the world don the most inspired, the most outrageous, and the most otherworldly clothes they can find and descend upon the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s the Met Gala, and it happens on the first Monday in May. Andrew Rossi’s documentary details the planning and preparations for the 2015 event and the Costume Institute’s fashion exhibit, “China: Through the Looking Glass,” to which that year’s Gala was dedicated.
Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008)
Special correspondent for Vanity Fair Matt Tyrnauer turns the camera on a fashion legend at the end of his career. The documentary follows Valentino around the world and behind the scenes as he draws near retirement, and focuses on the relationship between the designer and his partner of 50 years in business and life, Giancarlo Giammetti.
Available on: Amazon Prime, iTunes
The September Issue (2009)
September brings not only the buzziest runway shows but also the fattest fashion magazines of the year. R.J. Cutler’s documentary chronicles the production of the ninth Vogue of 2007 as it comes together under the direction of the magazine’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and creative director Grace Coddington.
Available on: Amazon, Vudu, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play
Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer (2015)
The spotlight is on Jeremy Scott, mastermind at Moschino and the king of pop culture-infused fashion, in this film by Vlad Yudin. Many of Scott’s famous friends — like Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Rihanna — appear in the doc, which examines the life and career of the rebellious designer.
Available on: Netflix, Amazon
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2011)
Before there was Anna Wintour, there was Diana Vreeland. The longtime Harper’s Bazaar columnist and former Vogue editor’s long career and enormous influence gets the feature treatment with this documentary, which was directed and produced by the fashion legend’s granddaughter-in-law Lisa Immordino Vreeland along with co-directors Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt and Frédéric Tcheng.
Available on: Hulu, Amazon Prime, Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Vudu, Google Play
“I don’t have any rules, because I would only be breaking them, so it’s a waste of time,” says Iris Apfel, and she need only break down one or two of her truly spectacular outfits for the camera before you know it’s true. Late documentarian Albert Maysles profiles the singular style icon, whose joie de vivre at 93 is the only thing that makes an even bigger statement than her costume jewelry.
Mademoiselle C (2013)
If you’re looking for a little European flair, you can find that certain je ne sais quoi in filmmaker Fabien Constant’s portrait of Carine Roitfeld, the former editor-in-chief of French Vogue. The film follows Mademoiselle Carine — synonymous with the edgy-sexy style she brought to the magazine and to Gucci in the ‘90s, where she was muse to Tom Ford — as she launches a new magazine, CR Fashion Book, after her exit from Vogue in 2011.
Available on: Cohen Media Channel,Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Vudu, Google Play