The best films about fashion

Hello Sunshine! As both primarily visual media, film and fashion walk hand in hand perfectly. There have been many fantastic films, ranging from comedies to documentaries, that cast an eye over the industry, the people within it and, of course, the clothes. I really love watching these movies because they are visual treats, displaying the best styles, trends and characters, giving viewers a fly-on-the-wall insight into the workings of the industry. Even if you're not very high fashion, as I am not, fashion movies are still great pick-me-uppers! Here are three notable fashion films you should see (if you still haven't!!)

1) The Devil Wears Prada, 2006


Perhaps the most famous and well-loved film about fashion, The Devil Wears Prada takes us into the swanky office of Runway, the world’s biggest fashion magazine. Andy Sachs, played by a doe-eyed Anne Hathaway, has to navigate the social and sartorial minefield that is the editor’s office, run and overseen by the draconian Miranda Priestley, played to perfection by Meryl Streep. Over the course of the film, and after a series of hilariously catty quips, Andy is subsumed by her less-than-desirable job, jeopardizes her friendships and undergoes a major wardrobe transformation, swapping dowdy skirts and jumpers for sleek and stylish ensembles. The wardrobe in the film is particularly impressive, considering how hard a task it must be to ensure that none of the clothing ensembles look dated years and years down the line. Patricia Field, who organized the costumes, opted for classic cuts and block colours to ensure that the film (which is now nearly ten years old) looks as relevant and chic as it did in 2006.

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2) The September Issue, 2009


This documentary gives us an insight into the inner workings of Anna Wintour’s life as the stern editor-in-chief of American Vogue, the biggest fashion publication in the world. Sound familiar? She was the inspiration behind Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada and is infamous in the worlds of fashion and media for having intimidatingly high standards in all areas of her work life. The September Issue shows us just how important Anna Wintour is, with her opinion valued and respected by the biggest design houses and brands across the world.

We are also introduced to some of the other important figures and employees at Vogue who help to keep the magazine going. In particular, we loved watching creative director Grace Coddington styling her models and talking eloquently and passionately about couture and photography. Additionally, former editor-at-large and contributing editor AndrĂ© Leon Talley makes an appearance, hilariously decked from head to toe in Louis Vuitton whilst embarking on tennis lessons at Wintour’s behest. This documentary is fascinating viewing and emphasises how vast the fashion industry really is with all of the different people who work withinit to bring us the trends we know and love. Importantly, fashion publishing is shown to be the biggest influencer of not only what people will buy but also, because of Wintour’s sway, what designers end up showing us on the runways. Vogue is an incredibly powerful communicator and constructor of what we sartorially want and desire, and cannot be underestimated.

3) Dior and I, 2014


Still a relatively recent release, and available on Netflix, is this documentary exploring the glamourous and glossy world of one of the world’s greatest design houses: Dior. The new creative director Raf Simons was appointed in what was a relatively urgent affair after the house parted ways with John Galliano, leaving him with just eight weeks to create his first couture collection. This, as the film shows, is by no means an easy feat. The collection they create looks to the house’s illustrious heritage, with elegant A-line dresses and Bar jackets plucked from the 1950s and 1960s given a thoroughly modern update, using exquisite printed materials and three dimensional floral effects.

The film charts the creative struggles and dramas that went into the production of the collection right until the end of the show, when an emotional Simons appears with the models to the rapturous delight of the show’s audience. What is also great about the film is that it is as much an homage to the house’s founder, Christian Dior, and the long-serving seamstresses working in the depths of the atelier as it is to charting Simons’ arrival. Extracts from Dior’s memoirs are read out, offering an uncanny parallel to the experiences facing Simons and his team, which also muse on the distinct public and private roles undertaken by someone in such an important, creative position. The couturiers offer wit, wisdom and decades of experience, helping to flesh out and humanize one of the most enigmatic design houses in the world.

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