Interested in fashion and its legislators? Then you will be pleased with an expert selection of the 10 best films about the world of fashion and clothing designers . The movie masterpieces included in it will inspire and motivate you, and at the same time brighten up your leisure time.
You will learn about how Anna Wintour made Vogue an iconic fashion magazine, about the creative rise of Alexander McQueen and the creative frenzy of Vivienne Westwood.
You will plunge into the history of such fashion houses as Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Coco Chanel, and get to know their legendary founders better.
So, right now let’s move on to a review of the 30 best films about the world of fashion and clothing designers.
The Best Films About Fashion And Clothing Designers
1. McQueen / McQueen (2018)
“McQueen” is a deep, believable and touching story about a young life and a brilliant career that was tragically cut short.”
This is a documentary about the amazing life, career and craftsmanship of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
McQueen’s creativity began to show as a teenager. A talented young man was noticed and invited to the position of chief designer at Givenchy.
Shortly thereafter, he launched his brand, which has flourished to this day.
Exclusive interviews with the fashion designer’s closest friends and family, restored archives, exquisite visuals and music make “McQueen” an authentic celebration and a gripping portrait of the inspirational fashion visionary, genius martyr who took his own life in 2010.
Recommended for all fashion lovers.
2. Ball / The First Monday In May (2016)
“The Ball may not resonate far beyond its target audience, but for fashion lovers, it should be downright exciting.”
The documentary “The Ball” tells about the preparation of the most visited fashion exhibition in the history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art “China: Through the Looking-Glass”.
The exhibition became an exploration of Chinese motifs in Western fashion. It was organized by Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute, which is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Exclusive access to the Met Gala, the show’s opening ball, allowed director Andrew Rossi to capture the meeting between high fashion and celebrities at the world’s biggest fashion culture event, chaired by Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour.
The film features iconic artists (including director Wong Kar Wai, fashion designers Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano) and contemporary pop icons such as Rihanna.
The picture plunges the viewer into a controversy about whether fashion should be considered as art.
3. Mademoiselle C / Mademoiselle C (2013)
“Quite an interesting documentary that takes us behind the scenes of journalism, although for those who are not fans of fashion, it is difficult to follow what is happening on the screen.”
Karine Roitfeld, editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris for 10 years (from 2001 to January 31, 2011), has earned a reputation as one of the most influential figures in the fashion world.
Her circle of friends includes Versace, Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Mario Testino, Riccardo Tisci, Diane von Furstenberg and Alexander Wang.
However, few people outside of the fashion world have heard of her…until now.
“Mademoiselle C” follows Karine’s departure from Conde Nast and the launch of her new CR Fashion Book.
The director of the film, Fabien Constant, uses exclusive material to reveal the inner springs of Karin Roitfeld’s professional and personal life.
The viewer finds Karin in transition as she moves to New York, starts a new business and prepares to become a grandmother.
Many of the models, celebrities and eccentric personalities that make the fashion world so unique are involved in the film.
4. Yves Saint Laurent (2014)
“Despite the fact that Yves Saint Laurent boasts excellent acting, it is still disappointingly bland and formulaic, especially given the dazzling image of its hero.”
One of the best French fashion biopics, Yves Saint Laurent tells the life of the famous couturier since 1957.
We see Saint Laurent as a 21-year-old boy, easily excitable and suffering from an inferiority complex.
However, he is already the chief designer of the largest French fashion house, Christian Dior.
A few years later, he suffers a nervous breakdown caused by the rejection of those around him about his sexual orientation and the call to the Algerian war.
As Saint Laurent struggles with cocaine addiction and depression, businessman Pierre Bergé becomes his bodyguard, business partner and boyfriend.
* For those who are interested in the life of the founder of the YSL empire, we recommend watching the 2010 documentary Crazy Love (L’Amour Fou).
5. Valentino: The Last Emperor / Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008)
The creators of Valentino: The Last Emperor took the opportunity to interact with the fashion icon to the fullest and the result is a brilliant, poignant and insightful documentary.”
The famous Italian fashion designer Valentino Garavani opened his first fashion house in 1959.
In 2007, Valentino announced plans to leave the fashion business and began preparations for the final show.
The film tells about the last two years of Valentino’s work as a designer with the support of Giancarlo Giammetti, his constant partner both in business and in life.
As Valentino prepares to end his fashion career, he worries about the corporation’s “intentions” to buy his clothing line.
6. High Fashion / Prêt-à-Porter / Ready To Wear (1994)
“A rare film that surpasses the novel of the same name in quality; this picture is a witty exposure of the New York fashion industry with Meryl Streep at her best and Anne Hathaway holding herself more than confident.”
Naive, freshly graduated journalism student Andrea Sachs takes a job in New York as second assistant to Miranda Priestley, editor-in-chief of fashion magazine Runway.
Miranda Priestley is a ruthless leader; powerful, sophisticated, cynical and demanding, she stops at nothing.
Emily, Priestley’s first assistant, advises Andrea to look into the outrageous preferences and quirks of the abusive boss.
At the same time, Nigel, a fashion stylist, helps Andrea dress appropriately for the occasion.
Over time, Andrea’s behavior changes, which affects her personal life.
At stake are her relationships with her boyfriend Nate, family and friends.
Gradually, Andrea understands that life is a choice of given opportunities.
7. Coco before Chanel / Coco Avant Chanel / Coco Before Chanel (2009)
“Despite the fact that the film does not fully reflect the complexity of the life of its heroine, “Coco before Chanel” remains a touching tribute to a charming woman.”
Young Coco Chanel (Audrey Tautou) works as a seamstress by day and sings in a cabaret at night.
It is here that Coco meets a wealthy heir (Benoit Pulvoord), who becomes her fashion consultant and beloved man.
Abandoning the traditional trappings of women’s fashion – flowery hats, tight corsets and meters of lace – Coco uses her lover’s clothes as the basis for creating an elegant line of women’s clothing. The innovative collection takes her to the pinnacle of Parisian haute couture.
The story of the transformation of the ambitious Coco into the great Chanel combines uncompromising directness and sincere sympathy.
8. Dior and I / Dior and I (2014)
“Dior and Me is sure to appeal to fashion aficionados, although this beautifully crafted documentary may interest even those who are the least concerned about their wardrobe.”
At first glance, Frederic Cheng’s documentary may seem like a commercial commissioned by the house of Dior (owned by the huge conglomerate LVMH). However, Cheng carefully crafts the film’s direction, favoring the creative process over stereotypical glamour.
Christian Dior’s intriguing confessions prepare us to meet Raf Simons, the new creative director, as a worthy successor to the founder of Dior.
At the first meeting with subordinates, Simons, an affable Belgian, puzzles them by asking them to call himself simply Raf. However, he quickly gains prestige in the Dior atelier, where all clothes are sewn by hand, down to the last bead.
“Dior and Me” immerses us in the life of seamstresses and cutters, artists and stylists – true masters of their craft.
This is a deeply moving film. Particularly impressive is the scene in which the stylist Hongbo Lee, watching the model parade in a stunning dress, cannot contain his delight: “I’m about to cry – how beautiful it is!”.
For a more detailed acquaintance with the life of the legendary fashion designer, we recommend reading his autobiography Dior on Dior.
9. The September Issue (2009)
“This documentary about the release of the biggest issue of Vogue and its cold-blooded editor-in-chief is a feast for the eyes and relaxation for the soul.”
Directed by R. J. Cutler, this superb documentary follows Anna Wintour, the renowned editor of Vogue. We find the heroine in 2007 preparing the release of the September issue of the magazine.
With a record 840 pages, this edition has become the most important issue of Vogue, heralding the fashion trends of the fall season.
With her trademark bob and dark sunglasses, and carefully controlling every page of the magazine, Wintour appears to us as a successful woman who knows exactly what readers want.
The film says little about fashion, but a lot about the intricacies of publishing. We watch the painstaking work on the magazine through the eyes of its editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
Notorious for being demanding, Anna is fighting to keep the brand that she’s brilliantly developed since taking over editorial in 1988.
10. The True Cost of Fashion / The True Cost (2015)
“This vital documentary exposes the ugliness beneath the glamour. He will either encourage you to change your views, or simply make you curl up in despair.
A unique documentary directed by Andrew Morgan dedicated to fast fashion.
Expanding on a range of aspects of the clothing industry, from production to the conditions of low-wage workers in developing countries, the director invites reflection on the consequences of river pollution, pesticide contamination of the soil, disease and death.
In his research, Andrew comes from ecological, social and psychological positions, which allows him to ultimately connect consumerism and mass media with global capitalism.
The documentary is a collage of several interviews with environmentalists, garment workers, factory owners and people who organize fair trade companies or promote sustainable clothing production.
This carefully curated selection of 10 of the best fashion and designer films is the best way to learn about the history of the fashion industry and beyond.
Moreover, if you are experiencing a creative block and do not know what to do next, these films will be a strong source of motivation for you and help you not to give up on your dreams.
We hope you enjoy as much as our experts who compiled this review for you. Enjoy watching!