Now that winter is setting in, a decent portion of my free nights will be spent holed up at home with a book or a good movie. And while my favorite television series are certainly good time-wasters, sometimes it’s fun to cozy up to a film that’s slightly more…cerebral. Enter the fashion documentary, of which there are surprisingly many. Lucky for me, a decent portion of them are available for streaming on Netflix. I spent much of the past week indulging in the films, and in the process was able to narrow my selection down to my absolute favorites. So, in preparation for the cold winter ahead, I’ve compiled a list of them for the rest of you fashion addicts/Netflix subscribers out there. After all, who is better company on a cold winter’s night than Anna Wintour herself?
::one:: Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s (2013). Want to know what it takes to get your designs on the shelves of the worlds’ most iconic department store? This is the film for you. In the 120 minutes you’ll spend engrossed in this feature, you will learn about everything from the assembly of Bergdorf Goodman’s extravagant holiday windows to the intriguing backstory behind their personal shopping service. Not only that, but the feature includes up-close interviews with everyone from Bergdorf’s own fashion director Linda Fargo to designer greats like Christian Louboutin and Oscar de la Renta. Although I certainly learned a lot watching Scatter My Ashes, I really came away with one message in particular: There is only one Bergdorf Goodman’s.
::two:: Bill Cunningham New York (2010). You know you’ve made it in fashion when Anna Wintour herself says she gets dressed every morning with you in mind. Thus is the life of New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, who for the past several decades has made a living as the world’s foremost street style photographer, and is the subject of this documentary. Despite his plethora of stylish freinds, you won’t find him gallery hopping downtown, or walking the red carpet at the next year’s MET Gala. Rather, you’re likely to this natty eighty-year-old wandering the streets of Manhattan day and night wearing nothing more than kakis and a blue jacket (or even a trash bag if it’s raining!). Having watched this documentary and fallen in love with all things Bill, it’s safe to say I’ve added catching a glimpse of him at work to my bucket list.
::three:: Mademoiselle C (2013). You’ve seen The September Issue, now watch Mademoiselle C. This fun-filled docu centers around former Paris Vogue EIC Carine Roitfeld and her journey towards starting her own magazine, C.R. Before you hit ‘play’, let me tell you that it’s one thing to watch the world’s most famous magazine craft their most important issue of the year, but it’s something else entirely to watch a fashion icon as she struggles to get her independent venture off the ground. The film is not wanting for highs and lows, and certainly shows you just how hard it is to be in the fashion business. But don’t fear the negativity, my friends. Roitfeld herself, with her upbeat personality and quirky humor, remains a pillar of determination throughout the film, and is living proof that even thought it’s hard, making it in fashion is possible, through passion, hardwork, and, of course, a great pair of shoes.
::four:: Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2011). Believe it or not, there was such thing as Vogue magazine before Anna Wintour swept in. I know, I know! It’s hard to believe. Even harder to comprehend? The idea that pre-Wintour Vogue was just as cutting-edge (if not more) as it is today. That’s all thanks to the creative genius that was Diana Vreeland, the late editor extraordinaire who changed the fashion industry for good. Dying to hear more? You’ll just have to watched this film, then…
::five:: Advanced Style (2014). I have always been fascinated by older people. Maybe it is due to the fact that I’m an only child, so being surrounded by adults is almost more natural to me than being surrounded by kids my own age. Whatever the reason, I absolutely adored this documentary, which chronicles the lives of a several hot-to-trot older women living in Manhattan, all of whom with a sense of style that’s all their own. Besides the fabulous outfits (think pink hair and matching eyelashes and big strings of pearls), the film stresses the importance of embracing each day as it comes. One way to do that? Throw on the zaniest hat you have and own the sidewalks.