15 Fashion Documentaries to Watch This Summer


Go outside? Or crank up the A.C., fire off that Seamless order, and settle in for a fashion movie marathon? Here, we've rounded up 15 of our favorite documentaries, for a behind-the-scenes peek at lives of the designers, photographers, models, and magazines who keep the industry going. Check them out, below!

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Unzipped (1995)

What It's About: One of the O.G. fashion documentaries, this cult favorite follows Isaac Mizrahi in the months leading up to his Nanook of the North-themed 1994 runway show. Directed by Mizrahi's then-boyfriend Douglas Keeve, it's hilarious, endlessly quotable, and features cameos by '90s supermodels like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Cindy Crawford. Stream this if you think you'd enjoy watching a man deliver a monologue on his complicated relationship with fur pants.

Where to Watch: Amazon Video, YouTube, iTunes

The September Issue (2009)

What It's About: A chronicle of the nine months leading up to the launch of Vogue's (at the time) biggest-ever September issue, this documentary made Grace Coddington, the magazine's creative director at large, a star. (Or, more of a star than she already was.) Get ready for lots of footage of Vogue staffers looking nervous as Anna Wintour peers at the layout and says things like, "So it's all pinks? We really feel this is the most important message to put in the September issue?"

Where to Watch: Amazon Video, YouTube, iTunes

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L'Amour Fou (2010)

What It's About: Yves Saint Laurent's creative and romantic partner Pierre Berge reflects on the designer's life in this tearjerker. Warning: L'Amour Fou is almost entirely in French, so watch it when you're in the mood for crying while reading subtitles.

Where to Watch: Amazon Video, YouTube, Google Play Movies & TV, iTunes

Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston (2010)

What It's About: Halston, a.k.a. Roy Halston Frowick, turned America on to minimalism in the midst of '70s disco excess, and then his career just kind of…fizzled. Director Whitney Sudler-Smith (who later went on to star in Bravo's Southern Charm) charts Halston's rise and fall through interviews with the designer's friends and muses like Liza Minelli and Pat Cleveland.

Where to Watch: Amazon Video, iTunes

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Dior and I (2015)

What It's About: Raf Simons left his post as Dior's creative director of womenswear to focus on his own menswear label after this documentary was filmed, but Dior and I remains a candid look at the pressures facing young designers who take over storied fashion houses. The film also turns the lens on Dior's seamstresses and textile makers—a segment of the industry we don't often hear from—who are just as emotionally invested in the design process as Simons.

Where to Watch: Amazon Video, YouTube, Netflix

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2011)

What It's About: Before Anna Wintour, there was Diana Vreeland, former fashion editor at Harper's Bazaar, editor in chief of Vogue, and style advisor to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. This documentary tracks the fashion icon's career through archival videos and recordings Vreeland made while writing her autobiography.

Where to Watch: Amazon Video, iTunes, YouTube

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Iris (2015)

What It's About: Iris follows nonagenarian style icon Iris Apfel as she reflects on her many careers (jewelry designer, textile firm owner, design restoration specialist at the White House for nine presidents), showcases her vast costume jewelry collection, and seems equal parts amused by and indifferent to the fashion industry's fascination with her.

Where to Watch: Amazon Video, Netflix

Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008)

What It's About: OK, this documentary offers a fascinating look at the red carpet master's design process, and the preparations leading up to his last fashion show before retiring, but let's be real—Valentino's pugs are the real stars of the film. He has five of them, they all travel by private jet, and they're all fabulous.

Where to Watch: Amazon Video, iTunes

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Mademoiselle C (2013)

What It's About: Professional Intimidatingly Cool French Lady Carine Roitfeld (a.k.a. the former editor in chief of Vogue Paris) let cameras follow her around as she prepped for the launch her own magazine, CR Fashion Book. Look out for cameos by Beyonce, Marina Abramovic, and Kanye West.

Where to Watch: Amazon Video, Netflix, iTunes

Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's (2013)

What It's About: Getting your clothes into a major department store like Bergdorf Goodman can make a young designer's career, and this documentary goes behind the scenes as the store's senior vice president Linda Fargo meets with up-and-comers, critiques their collections, and decides who gets a coveted space on the sales floor.

Where to Watch: Amazon Video, Netflix, iTunes

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