As a style and fashion enthusiast, I have always been drawn to the real stories and behind-the-scenes look at how everything comes together. As a stylist I am truly in awe of how fashion empires, whether it be a publication, a design house, or a photographer, came to be, run their daily operations, and how they plan on expanding and innovating for the future.
Check out my list below of 5 films every fashion lover should watch and let us know what your favorite is or what you are most excited to watch! Do you have any other must-watch fashion films on your list?
The September Issue
The September Issue takes us behind the scenes of the American offices for the fashion magazine, Vogue, and right into Anna Wintour’s daily duties, for an up close and personal look at the making of, you guessed it: The September Issue. The 2007 issue was the largest in Vogue’s history at the time, with 820 pages.
“There is something about fashion that can make people very nervous.” – Anna Wintour.
See the trailer for The September Issue here.
Coco Before Chanel
Based on the early life of Coco Chanel, born Gabrielle Chanel, Coco Before Chanel tells the true story of rags to riches, from an orphanage to the heights of the fashion world.
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” ― Coco Chanel
See the trailer for Coco Before Chanel here.
Iris gives us an intimate look into the life of fashion icon, Iris Apfel. From 1950 – 1992, Iris and her husband took part in interior design renovations for 9 Presidents; during this time of international travel and design is when Iris rose to fame in the fashion world as a true icon for her daring and carefree style, which she continues to this day at 94 years old.
“There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self-expression and, above all, attitude.” – Iris Apfel.
See the trailer for Iris here.
Bill Cunningham New York
Bill Cunningham has been a fashion photographer for The New York Times since 1978 and has revolutionized what we now know as “street style”. Before bloggers or Instagram, Bill Cunningham was using his keen eye to discover and shed light on fashionistas, celebrities, socialites, and new designers. Bill is currently 87 years young and is still photographing in New York for The Times.
“The wider world perceives fashion as frivolity that should be done away with. The point is that fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you can do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization.” – Bill Cunningham
See the trailer for Bill Cunningham New York here.
The True Cost
The True Cost explores the world of fashion and the impact it has on people and the planet, focusing on the effect of “fast fashion”. Fast fashion is a heavy note that we do not typically highlight in the world of fashion; more importantly the working and negative environmental conditions of factories. Go behind the scenes of the biggest fashion companies and learn more about how to support and be a part of the change for the better we are on the verge of.
“I believe these clothes are produced by our blood. I want the [factory owners] to be aware and look out for us, so that no more mothers lose their kids like that.” – Shima Akhter, a Bangladeshi factory worker in the film.
See the trailer for The True Cost here.
Fashion is used to express oneself and often gives insight, whether consciously or not, to where our lives are. Jenn Rogien, the costume designer for the Emmy award-winning HBO show Girls, has the difficult job of curating a wardrobe that tells a story about the characters as the script itself does. If you’ve been watching Girls since the first season, you may have noticed the style evolution each character has gone through as their lives have changed.
Hannah (Lena Dunham) is known as being a mess from the very first episode of the series, arguably going through the longest quarter-life crisis a twenty-something can have. The show is rounding out its fifth season, and we’ve seen Hannah evolve professionally and romantically. Her wardrobe has gone from ill-fitting and unflattering with haphazard mixed prints, to a cleaner but still quirky look that often incorporates an academic, somewhat preppy twist.
Bohemian-chic Jessa (Jemima Kirke) has always had the most consistent style throughout the series—until this current season, where we’ve seen her pull back. Her life has slowed down and become more stable, and her wardrobe is beginning to reflect that by also settling down while still keeping her unique flare alive.
Marnie (Allison Williams) is the one friend we all have: she bases her identity on her romantic relationships or what she is currently involved in. One of the most “together” girls at the beginning of the series (in life and in style), Marnie had a classic look with a casual elegance. As the series progresses, Marnie seems to constantly be scrambling to put her life back together. Currently fronting as a singer-songwriter, Marnie’s style has transformed into indie scene hipster.
Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) is your friend who’s always up-to-the-second on trends, celebrities, and gossip of any kind. She is extremely concerned about fitting in and being liked, and her style showcases this concern with the use of every fashion trend and rule at once. Though Shoshanna is still innocent and impressionable, she is also independent and confident, and her style has noticeably toned down and evolved to be still playful but more adult-appropriate.
If you haven’t been watching the new HBO show Vinyl, block out your weekend for some serious bingeing. The music industry-based show is not only written well, its ’70s era fashion is downright enviable, especially in a time when the resurgence of these trends can’t ignored.
Vinyl has been a style inspiration since the series premiere in February, and it’s no wonder why. The show’s costume designer, John Dunn, who has previously worked on shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire (both with perfect vintage styling too), has recreated the era’s fashion with brilliant execution; the looks are gritty, glamorous, and rebelliously rock and roll. You can learn more about how Dunn has been able to revive the ’70s for HBO here and here.
Check out my top 10 favorite looks from the series so far!
Friends ended its 10-year run in 2004, and yet we’re still taking style cues and stealing outfit ideas from the ’90s sitcom. What goes around comes around, and that is never more true than in the fashion world.
Currently, we’re in ’90s style nostalgia, and Friends is the perfect reference point. I have been a fan from the beginning and now, thanks to Netflix, I am able to binge the series. And binge, I do.
Lately, I have noticed that the fashion on the show—particularly the women’s fashion—is fantastically similar to what we are finding in stores today. Just a few examples are “mom jeans”, denim shirts, slip dresses, crop tops and mules.
This is for the old fans and the new ones who are just discovering the show and its fashion greatness. Check out the style cues we’re definitely still taking from Friends.
1. Denim. All the denim
Denim jackets, skirts, shirts, and vests. Denim reigned supreme in the ’90s and the wardrobe on Friends depicted the denim of our dreams in every way imaginable.
2. Mules, sneakers, and boots—oh my!
The “friends” were normcore; normal people with normal lives, jobs, and wardrobes. No stilettos and crazy designer shoewear. The girls wore enviable, but attainable shoes.
3. Dress for success
Slip dresses, minis, maxis, and midis; the style of dresses and skirts the girls wore are still seen on the street style stars of today.
4. Crop tops and high-waist combos
And thus began our love affair of the classic pairing of crop tops and high waists.
5. Normcore + unapologetic prints and colors
The girls incorporated normcore and monochromatic looks into their wardrobe and, at the same time, they rocked floral, plaid, and bright colors proudly and often.
6. Statement Accessories
Statement necklaces and bracelets—including the currently trending ’90s staple, the choker—were used to showcase each character’s individuality.