8 Fashion Documentaries To Watch For A Sartorial Escape

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As a bashful adolescent, I routinely found myself revelling in the deep abyss of fashion and its larger-than-life lure, and before I knew it, fashion served as a source of blithe escapism from my grim reality. It transported me to a realm – one that was filled with glossy fashion pages, sumptuous couture collections, and avant-grande runway motifs. But it’s what’s beyond the glamorous facades of some of the greatest fashion maisons that had me glued: the hustle, the ingenuity, knotty issues, and everything else bittersweet. So, while we’re in the thick of fashion week, let’s take a quick plunge into the unfettered world of fashion -fashion documentaries. Whether you’re a cineast or a fashion geek, these will undoubtedly provide a sartorial respite you’ll love.

1. Dior and I

As we all know, carrying on a legacy of this magnitude is no easy feat and Frédéric Tcheng’s gripping doc makes a clear case for the same. Taking us into Raf Simons’ perceptive world as he takes over the reins after Christian Dior’s death- the focus is on the neophyte’s entry into the world of couture, a journey fraught with challenges as he designs his first haute couture collection in just eight weeks.

Watch it on Amazon Prime 

2. Valentino – The Last Emperor

Valentino announced his retirement in 2007, after nearly 50 years of leading his fashion house since 1960. Taking viewers behind the scenes into the life of the fashion savant, the film revolves around his final years at work and his closing show, also giving us a foretaste of his relationship with his partner, Giancarlo Giammetti.

Watch it on Amazon Prime

3. McQueen

A compelling look into the life of the creative visionary, with information from his early runway exhibits to excerpts from the designer’s archived interviews, and intimate information from his closest and dearest, this is a gripping fashion documentary. Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui’s depiction of the acclaimed designer, often regarded as the fashion prince of the dark, was nothing short of touching and heart-wrenching.

Watch it on Netflix 

4. The Gospel According to Andre

André Leon Talley is a name you ought to be familiar with if you are a fashion nerd like me. It’s impossible to overstate his contribution to the fashion industry. Filmmaker Kate Novack’s cinematic ode to Talley centers around his life and work, uncovering all you need to know about the larger-than-life fashion icon, from his childhood to his celebrated work at Vogue, his hardships, and so much more.

Watch it on Amazon Prime 

5. L’Amour Fou

Yves Saint Laurent, as soon as that name pops up, I am watching it. Made two years after his death, the documentary charts his journey as a couturier from his role at Dior and his relationship with YSL co-founder Pierre Bergé to the launch of his eponymous French  fashion house.

Watch it on Amazon Prime

6. The First Monday in May

Think Rihanna on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in an imperial yellow fur-trimmed cloak with an enormous trail and a matching headpiece for all the skeptics who don’t grasp the Met Gala hype. This one will be a delight for your eyes if you find yourself scrolling through Met Gala outfits for hours. The First Monday in May includes all of the behind-the-scenes insights from Anna Wintour’s sartorial bash.

Watch it on Amazon Prime 

9. The True Cost

The True Cost is a film that uncovers the grotesque side of fashion that often goes unnoticed, showing us the true cost of our fashion consumption and its consequences on the planet – this is a documentary that is certainly a breath of fresh air amidst all the mayhem around designers and their twisted glamourous lives. Take our word for it and watch it: this is time well spent.

Watch it on Amazon Prime

10. Dries

There’s nothing quite like nearly experiencing the life of a notable designer, especially one who is notoriously private about his daily existence, but filmmaker Reiner Holzemer takes us inside the exclusive world of Belgian designer Dries Van Noten—from his creative processes to his fashion philosophies and the making of his eye-catching collections.

Watch it on Amazon Prime.

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