These are the fashion documentaries every fashion-lover should watch at least once

Up your fashion knowledge game with this much-watch list.

New Zealand Fashion Week is just over a month away and if you’re taking in a show (or 10), knowing Dries from Dior isn’t just important – it’s vital.

So to make sure you’re across all things fashion, we’ve put together our list of fashion documentaries that all fashion fanatics should watch.

From a behind-the-scenes look at iconic British Vogue under the editorship of the formidable Alexandra Shulman to accidental street style founder Bill Cunningham, these films will educate, inform, and above all else, inspire.


Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue

This documentary goes behind-the-scenes of British Vogue in the lead up to its centenary issue. It’s the first time in its history a film-maker has been given access to show how the magazine is created. Heated office debates over cover shots aside; the movie is a stunning look at the intricacies of fashion journalism.

Screening on SKY Television’s Vibe, on Sundays at 8.30pm from 27 August

Inside Dior

This film explores the celebrated history French fashion designer Christian Dior and the creation of his haute couture label. The documentary offers an in-depth view of the famed fashion house from its inception in 1947 by founder Christian Dior, through to its current status headed up creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri – the first woman to hold the post in 70 years.

Screening on SKY Television’s Vibe, on Sundays at 9.30pm from 27 August


Dries Van Noten

Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten. Photo: Supplied

Dries Van Noten emerged 30-years-ago breaking new fashion ground out of a then little-known Belgium scene. This documentary offers an intimate portrait of the designer, and his much-lauded creative process as he prepares for upcoming collections.

Showing at the New Zealand International Film Festival, 14 July – 6 August 2017

House of Z

Project Runway fans will remember designer Zac Posen as a judge on the show after Michael Kors stepped down, although clearly that’s not the designer’s only claim to fame. Posen hit his stride at just 21, and his jaw-dropping creations have been a firm fixture on the red carpet since. The documentary pays homage to his incredible creativity while also offering some insight as to the challenges he faced.

Showing at the New Zealand International Film Festival, 14 July – 6 August 2017

Bill Cunningham New York

It could be said that if it wasn’t for photographer Bill Cunningham, street style wouldn’t exist. The legendary fixture on the streets of New York snapped the stylish for the New York Times for more than three decades. His gentle approach and a keen eye for a great look made him a favourite among the fashionable. Even Anna Wintour said “We all get dressed for Bill.”

The September Issue

This film tells the story of the making of US Vogue’s mammoth, and massively influential, September issue. It’s an intense look at the effort that goes into the making of the magazine, as well as revealing insights into its editor-in-chief, the longstanding Anna Wintour, and her dedicated team.

Mademoiselle C

Carine Roitfeld Sarah-Jessica Parker Karl Lagerfeld

Sarah-Jessica Parker, Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld (L). Photo: Supplied.

Carine Roitfeld is to French Vogue what Alexandra Shulman is to its British counterpart. The former model rose through the ranks of the fashion industry to take up the helm of editor-in-chief at the title in 2001. The film follows Roitfeld’s journey from leaving the iconic title after 10 years at the top to moving to New York to launch her own fashion title.

Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s

It is possible Manhattan-based department store Bergdorf Goodman features the most luxurious windows in the world. The Fifth Avenue shopping complex is renowned for being home to all manner of designer items, and it’s a must-see for any New York visitor. The movie celebrates the fabulousness of Bergdorf’s with celebrity interviews, conversations with store employees, and customers, all of whom profess their love.


Iris Apfel

The inspired nonogenerian, Iris Apfel. Photo: Supplied

Iris Apfel is one of fashion’s most sartorial seniors. The colourful 93-year-old isn’t afraid to layer bold jewellery, don the biggest shades and step out ready to take on New York City like the fashion diva she is. This film takes us inside her world and gives us a peek at her incredible collection of accessories and clothes, plus a few tips for living your best life.

Dior and I

This film is built around the story of Dior following the dismissal of its creative director, John Galliano, in 2011. The fashion house spent almost a year deciding his successor before announcing Belgian designer Raf Simmons would head up the atelier. Offering candid access, the documentary gives the viewer a rare look into the running one of the world’s largest fashion houses.

Words: Emilia Mazza
Photos: Supplied