'Fash pack' documentaries worth watching
As a serial documentary watcher who loves nothing more than a quiet weekend trawling the newest documentaries on Netflix or surfing the web for good documentary recommendations, it was inevitable I'd write an article on documentaries. In particular, fashion documentaries. During my younger years at Uni and indeed during my intern years at a number of fashion mags, I always thought I'd end up working behind the scenes of a magazine. With this dream dead in the water (I live in Belfast), my fascination with fashion documentaries offers me a furtive glimpse into the guarded world of fashion. Being granted access behind the scenes of the most exclusive industry is a thrill all of its own. With this mind, read on to discover the top fashion documentaries that every fashionista needs to see.
The September Issue
Possibly my favourite documentary on this subject, The September Issue lays bare the inner workings at the world's most influential fashion mag, US Vogue. Focusing on the production of US Vogue's most important issue of the year, the September issue in 2007, this highly entertaining documentary reveals famously frosty editor in chief Anna Wintour at her usual curt and business-like self as she seeks to fill over 800 pages with glossy images and polished words.
Immaculately dressed in floral shifts, jewelled chokers and her signature over-sized shades that do little to disguise her steely determination, The September Issue shows more of the real woman behind the publication by delving into personal and professional relationships and what inspired her to become Editor in Chief at Vogue. The real intrigue of the film lies in the fraught but affectionate nature of the 20 year friendship between Wintour and Fashion Editor at Large Grace Coddington. A relationship that seems to be continually at odds (in a very entertaining way), Coddington's wild hair and creative demeanor is the antithesis to Wintour's sleekness. All in all, it's the story of a truly dynamic duo that continually succeed in creating the world's most influential publication to this day.
Dior and I
Documenting the introduction of new Creative Director Raf Simons to the Dior atelier in 2012, mere weeks before his first collection for the fashion house is due to be launched, this must-see documentaries showcases the challenges and tensions both Simons and his team face. Given just 8 weeks to orchestrate a couture collection and star-studded opening show when most designers are given close to half a year, the film shows the designer in a different light to the standard fashion doc. More of a sensitive portrayal of the man and a team of creators working tirelessly to one vision, Dior and I culminates with the reveal of a rebellious collection featuring artwork of anarchist artist Sterling Ruby displayed in a building with walls covered in flowers.
The First Monday in May
The Met Gala in New York is the biggest night in the fashion industry calendar. Attracting the biggest names in the world, this star-studded event is nothing short of pure delicious theatre used to raise funds for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Costume Institute. This film explores the process of planning, coordinating and hosting this massive event in 2015 under the watchful eye of Anna Wintour and Andrew Bolton. China: Through the Looking Glass was one of the most successful Met Galas in history, raising over $12 million for the institute and the doc charts the cultural sensitivities the organisers faced when putting the Eastern themed extravaganza in place. Worth watching to see the visually stunning pieces of fashion and to learn about the work required to produce an event on this scale.