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Fashion Documentaries to Watch this Winter Break

With the arrival of winter break, the urge to cuddle up, drink hot coffee and watch endless movies is arguably universal. Although wearing the most glamorous clothes usually isn’t an option when temperatures drop, it is still possible to get a daily dose of style. There is a wide array of fashion movies, both fiction and non-fiction, out there, and luckily, many of them are available on Netflix. Here are four reviews of some of the most popular fashion films. But don’t stop there…. An extended list of movies is below. Just in time for snuggling up this weekend.

The September Issue

“The September Issue” follows Anna Wintour and staff as they prepare for the September 2007 issue of Vogue, their largest issue in history at the time. The movie reveals the stresses involved with creating photo shoots, meeting with designers and essentially determining the trends for the coming season.

Wintour comes across as demanding and uncompromising, which isn’t a big surprise given her reputation as queen of the fashion world. Grace Coddington, the creative director of Vogue, was also a standout character. Despite her obvious talent and experience at the magazine, she must adapt to the wants of Wintour, giving them a very dynamic on-screen relationship.

The Tents

A film released early this year, “The Tents” offers an all-encompassing look at the evolution of New York Fashion Week. Packed with interviews from Anna Wintour, Tommy Hilfiger, Isaac Mizrahi and many more, this film offers an authentic inside look at the world of fashion.

Prior to the appointment of Bryant Park, and now Lincoln Center, as the hub of fashion week, shows were disorganized, expensive and sometimes dangerous. With the guidance of many determined and hopeful individuals, fashion week became not only one of the most important fashion events in America, but in the entire world.

Bill Cunningham New York

Bill Cunningham is a charming documentary about a fashion photographer at The New York Times. He has served as their style photographer for decades, and is constantly in the know on the most popular trends and styles in New York City.

The film shows him living in a tiny apartment without a kitchen or bathroom in Carnegie Hall. He filled his entire apartment with file cabinets of his photographs, further showing his complete consumption with clothes. Cunningham is a complex and likeable character, and provides the perfect subject for a fashion documentary.

The Devil Wears Prada

The only fictional movie in the bunch, “The Devil Wears Prada” is rumored to be based on Vogue and Anna Wintour. However, in this depiction, you get the glamour of fashion with the guarantee of a happy ending. Viewers can’t help but be sympathetic to Anne Hathaway’s character as she struggles to navigate the fashion world as an outsider. Looking for an easy, uplifting movie for the weekend? This is the ideal pick.

There are a variety of fashion-related movies depending on your interests and tastes. Below is a brief list of other available titles:

Confessions of a Shopaholic – I’m almost certain we can all identify with a portion of this film starring Isla Fisher.

Lagerfeld Confidential – This documentary gives an inside look into the life of one of fashion’s most influential designers Karl Lagerfeld.

Valentino: The Last Emperor – Follow Valentino for a year and you are sure to learn a bit about fashion. This movies covers his preparations for his 2006 spring/summer collection and the preparation for the 45th anniversary event of his career.

L’Amour Fou – Another documentary about a fashion designer; however, this one focuses on Yves Saint-Laurent’s relationship with his lover, Pierre Berge.

Unzipped – This documentary follows designer Isaac Mizrahi as he prepares his fall 1994 collection. There’s sure to be some outstanding looks coming down the runway in this 90s film.

Sex and the City – Even if you didn’t watch the show, Carrie Bradshaw’s iconic wardrobe and closet are enough to keep you entertained.

Jenna Losé


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