A really good documentary offers an unflinching and engrossing look at its subject. The fashion industry may be infamously impenetrable, but a few enterprising filmmakers have caught some amazing stories on film. As such, we’ve put together a list of the six most essential fashion documentaries.
Check out the footage below (and make sure to read up on our favorite fashion feature films, too!)
Isaac Mizrahi readies his fall 1994 collection as he’s surrounded by the likes of Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. Filmed by Mizrahi’s then-boyfriend Douglas Keeve, the resulting documentary was an impetus for their breakup.
Christy Turlington jets around the world to walk in the spring 1993 shows in Milan, Paris and New York. Naomi and Kate make another celluloid appearance, as do John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld and more.
Douglas Keeve returns to the fashion documentary scene, this time following Doo Ri Chung, Alexandre Plokhov and Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough as they compete to win the coveted CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award.
[Note: We love this film, but the trailer is nearly impossible to find and/or embed! Check it out here.]
Signé Chanel, 2007
The Sundance Channel mini-series documents the process of creating Chanel‘s fall 2004 couture collection. It’s pretty satisfying to see Karl Lagerfeld play second fiddle to the amazing artisans who make his vision come to life, one painstaking stitch at a time.
This intimate peek into the life of Valentino Garavani is entirely lovely — from his relationship with life and business partner Giancarlo Giammetti to his adorable dogs to his amazing retrospective in Rome.
The September Issue, 2009
R.J. Cutler‘s film about the making of Vogue‘s September 2007 issue was a mainstream hit that garnered critical acclaim. It also introduced the world to the genius that is Grace Coddington. (Yeah, Anna Wintour is in it, too.)