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Peek into the real world of fashion with these 7 must-watch documentaries

The fashion industry is often seen as an intimidating industry to get into, with its naturally competitive dog-eat-dog nature, and well-known hard-to-achieve beauty standards, but the impenetrable façade of the industry is one of its biggest appeal.

Many movies about fashion have been released, with models on the forefront, and scripted lines, but few really let us know about what’s behind the curtain. We’ve seen The Devil Wears Prada, with its obvious reference to the famous Anna Wintour of Vogue, but if you’re looking more for the insider info—the trade secrets, the struggles, the drama, then fashion documentaries are your go-to.

Get to know what really goes on behind the scenes from the big players themselves—from the people who cut the cloth, to the well-known photographers, with these fashion documentaries that entertain, but and at the same time give insight on what the world of fashion is all about.

“Dior and I” (2014)

This movie tells the story of Raf Simons’s inauguration as the new creative director for Dior. As a newbie, he is faced with challenges of proving himself worthy of his title, with Dior staff members untrusting of his extreme creative decisions. Dior and I shows us a sneak peek into what happens behind closed doors of one of the most prominent fashion houses in the world.

“Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel” (2011)

The film shows the life of Diana Vreeland, her beginnings as a young girl in Paris to her life as editor-in-chief of Vogue. It shows how her fashion career catapulted from owning a small lingerie shop, to being one of the most influential people in fashion.

“Signe Chanel” (2005)

The five-part documentary features the infamous Karl Lagerfeld and his team of dressmakers in the Chanel atelier in Rue Cambon. It shows the the ins and outs of creating a collection, from the making of Chanel’s signature braiding by Raymond Pouzieux, to the preparations done for their fashion shows.

“The September Issue” (2009)

A documentary following well-known Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and her team as they struggle to write Vogue‘s largest and heaviest issue, containing 840 pages (and almost 5 pounds). It shows the complicated process of working for a fashion magazine and the praise it receives after a heart-felt fashion passion project.

“Valentino: The Last Emperor” (2009)

Valentino Garavani, the man behind the Valentino, announced his retirement in 2007. Valentino: The Last Emperor shows the professional and personal life of the designer and paying tribute to his career as he prepares for his final show, and taking a closer look at the relationship between him and his long-term partner in business and life, Giancarlo Giammetti.

“Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards” (2017)

This film shows us the journey of Spanish shoe designer Manolo from his first-ever shoe show to how he built the reputation of the now high-end brand known as . It shows his light and jolly persona and his impeccable craftsmanship that made him the icon he is today.

“Bill Cunningham New York” (2010)

The documentary is about the New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, who has been photographing fashion events for the style section of the newspaper for a long time. The film shows his simple life, his small studio and his bicycle- a contrast to the glitz and glam of the world of fashion.


By Bea Amador and Czarina Toledo

Photo from “Dior and I”/Frédéric Tcheng


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