Like the fashion films, I am marking the ones I think are must-sees with three stars, okay docs with 2 stars, and avoid at all costs with 1 star. Anything without stars I have not seen:
Advanced Style (2014) **
The lives of 7 older New Yorkers whose eclectic style has blossomed as they age. Interesting but not sure what the point is.
American Masters: Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light (1985)**
Richard Avedon’s work as a fashion photographer is presented in this American Masters television episode
Arkadius: Wild Orchid Dreams (2000)
A boy who grew up in communist Poland with dreams of becoming a fashion designer
Assassinat d’une Modiste (2006)***
Poignant doc about a Parisian Jewish milliner during WWII. Only two of her hat designs are known to exist.
Follow four up and coming models…
Bill Cunningham New York (2010)***
Profile of the late New York ‘On The Street’ fashion photographer. Endearing portrait of a gentle soul with a passion for fashion.
Blue Gold: American Jeans (2014)
The history and lore of America’s most iconic symbol
A camera follows Christy Turlington through the spring fashion shows of Milan, Paris, and New York in 1994.
Behind the scenes at Yves St. Laurent’s last fashion show.
Crazy About Tiffany’s (2016)
The complete past to present history of Tiffany & Company.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2011)***
Profile of the life and work of the famous fashion editor. It seems she wasn’t a very nice woman, but she sure had a lot of style!
Dior and I (2014)***
Follow Raf Simons as he takes on the House of Dior. Fascinating process, especially when I thought it was pretty obvious that Raf was not the right choice for the job – his viewpoint is too far removed from Dior’s. Turns out I was right because he left after a couple of seasons..
The Director: An Evolution in Three Acts (2013)
A look at the life and work of Gucci fashion designer Frida Giannini
Eleven Minutes (2008)**
Follow the work of Project Runway’s Jay McCarroll in the year following his reality show win. Interesting but it gets tiresome…
Fashion Phoenix (2010)**
Profile of Canadian designer Todd Lynn’s work in London. To be perfectly honest I had never heard of him until I saw this – he designed a lot of the clothes for off beat musicions, like Marilyn Manson.
The First Monday in May (2016)***
Follow the creation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most attended fashion exhibition in history – ‘China: Through the Looking Glass’. Fascinating expose of what happens behind the scene.
Franca: Chaos and Creation (2016)
Intimate portrait of the legendary editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue
In Their Shoes (2015)
An intimate portrait of the Indian shoe business
In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye (2012)
Looking at some of the most influential fashion images from the pages of Vogue
The style of New Yorker Iris Apfel. I found this interesting but it doesn’t have much to say – just lots of kooky outfits.
Je m’appelle Denis Gagnon (2010)
Follow Canadian fashion designer Denis Gagnon as he puts the final touches on his latest collection
Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer (2015)**
The story of Jeremy Scott, from small town Missouri kid to creative director for Moschino. Predictable and goes off topic a couple of times, but still interesting.
Just for Kicks (2005)
L’amour fou (2010)
The dysfunctional and successful relationship between Yves St. Laurent and Pierre Berge.
Lagerfeld Confidential (2007)*
A portrait of Karl Lagerfeld. OH MY GOD this is BORING.
Les Falbalas de Jean-Paul Gaultier (2004)
Portrait of Jean-Paul Gaultier
Mademoiselle C (2013)
Follow former Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld as she moves to New York to launch her own magazine.
A Man’s Story (2010)
A portrait of London designer Ozwald Boateng
Material Success (2012)
Follow fashion designer Bruno Ierullo as he prepares for his first runway show
McQueen and I (2011)
Profile of the late Alexander McQueen, released shortly after his death.
Men of the Cloth (2013)
Examining the work and lives of three Italian master tailors
Monsieur Hubert de Givenchy (2011)
Interview and portrait of Givenchy as he reflects on his own work in the 1950s and 1960s and laments the loss of style.
Notebook on Cities and Cities (1989)*
Wim Wenders talks with Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto about the creative process and ponders the relationship between cities and clothes. Pretentious prattle and really bad sound quality.
Picture Me: A Model’s Diary (2009)
A look at the inner world of modelling
Top models in a docu-drama that follows one model to various jobs. I could have done without the voice-over that tries to tell a story along the way.
The September Issue (2009)***
Chronicling the creation of 2007’s September Vogue issue – the largest ever printed at the time. Interesting expose of the process.
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s (2013)***
The Manhattan department store’s history, overall really interesting with a couple of slow parts.
Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags (2009)**
The past and present of New York’s garment district. A bit dry…
Threads of Time (2015) (no image available)
Portrait of fashion photographer Neal Barr and his 1920s fashion book. Really looking forward to seeing this when it comes out.
Triangle: Remembering the Fire (2011)**
The history and fallout of the March 25, 1911 catastrophic fire that killed 146 young women in a garment factory in New York
The True Cost (2015)
The impact of fashion on people and the planet
Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston (2010)
An exploration of the work and life of Roy Halston.
Follow Isaac Mizrahi as he creates his Fall 1994 collection. Enjoyable to watch
Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008)***
A look at the life of legendary fashion designer Valentino. Extremely well done doc that covers his personal as well as professional life.
Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution (2012)***
The 1973 fashion show held at Versailles that made the U.S. a world player in fashion. Fascinating and surprising!
Vidal Sassoon: The Movie (2010)**
History and life of the world’s most famous hair stylist. A bit long, but interesting
White Gold: The True Cost of Cotton (2011) (no image available)
The true story and cost of the cotton industry
Women He’s Undressed (2015)**
The life and work of Australian costume designer Orry-Kelly. There are some mistakes in the history…
The World’s Most Fashionable Prison (2012)
A fashion designer teaches his trade to inmates at a maximum security prison in the Philippines
Yves St. Laurent Life and Times & 5 Avenue Marceau (2002)
Two docs done at the time of YSL’s retirement honouring his life’s work.