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Fashion Films to Watch

The Christmas season is officially here! It comes with cozy blankets, fluffy socks, hot chocolate, and long evenings in front of the TV. However, if you have watched Home Alone one too many times and the new Lindsey Lohan’s Netflix original has left you disappointed, why not update your Christmas movies list for the fashion-related one?

Whether it is not necessarily a fashion film or fashion-forward documentary, these films will not only inspire you to upgrade your wardrobe but help you to deeply appreciate the industry and its insiders’ endeavor to create oeuvres. From Yves Saint Laurent to the documentary Manolo, here are some nonobvious film recommendations. And do not worry, The Devil Wears Prada is not on the list!

Yves saint laurent (2014)

This film is, by all means, one of the best french biographical fashion films of all time. This movie retraces the life of one of the most legendary designers in French couture, Yves Saint Laurent. Not only it shows the beautiful moments of his life; the movie picks up with young Yves as a boy agonizing with self-doubt. Featuring his life where the personal and professional intersect, the film touches on all aspects of Yves Saint Laurent. You will also see some of the designer’s most significant works, such as the Russian Ballet 1976 collection.

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Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton (2007)

This 2007 French TV documentary by Loïc Prigent - the funniest and one of the most renowned and esteemed fashion journalists - features the beautiful journey of the Louis Vuitton house under Marc Jacobs. The film covers the Louis Vuitton brand's history and its ups and downs. Though Marc Jacob is very private, Prigent tries to show his dazzling creative moments and his intimate moments during runways and shoots. The insight into the journey of such an iconic fashion house makes the story more intriguing! In this documentary, you can dive right into the American designer's interpretation of Maison Louis Vuitton-the interestingly glamorous fashion universe.

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Dries (2017)

This documentary is about one of the most respected and imaginative couturiers, Dries Van Noten. The film focuses on the 25-year-long career of the Belgian designer who has avoided the limelight most of his professional life. This film gives you a chance to discover the lifestyle of Dries Van Noten and see how this private man works at a former museum storage building in Antwerp, which is quite different from the typical fashion hubs like Paris or London. The documentary also contains interviews with notable fashion figures such as Iris Apfel and Suzy Menkes.

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Mademoiselle C (2013)

The renowned Fabien Constant features the former editor of French Vogue, the powerful fashion player Carine Roitfeld. In this film, like many other fashion documentaries, this onetime muse to Tom Ford is portrayed as an inspiring woman who has sit-down chitchats with such icons as Beyonce and Sarah Jessica Parker in various glamorous places, and that is definitely fun to watch. The movie begins with Carine ending her 10-year career as Editor in Chief of Vogue France. However, the more exciting part features her hostile relationship with Conde Nast; it skims over their split during Carine’s journey to launch her own magazine called CR Fashion Book.

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Elio Fiorucci : The Free Spirit (2018)

The documentary is a testimony of the extraordinarily creative Italian designer Elio Fiorucci. During a journey to Milan to meet the brilliant fashion figure, who is known for the distinctive concept stores and making fashion accessible to the public, viewers are invited to relive the magical atmosphere of the 1960s to 1980s, where Fiorucci, through his famous concept stores, shared his creative and festive interpretation of fashion with his eminent friends, such as Vivienne Westwood, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, Ettore Sottsass, and many others. You can indulge in ‘Fioruccismo,’ a provocative experimentation of this free spirit whose motto goes: “The end of unnecessary fears [is] the beginning of life.”

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Halston (2021)

Admittedly, this Netflix’s five-part miniseries was not exactly welcomed by the public; some say Halston was merely a superficial portrait of the acclaimed fashion icon. After all, this is the story of the fashion genius who himself had a rocky relationship with critics and sold his brand before realizing his obsession with positive reviews. The five episodes follow the rise-and-fall structure of visual biographies that we are familiar with; only this one has better clothes and fun-to-watch disco vibes.

What distinguishes the Netflix series is the focus on the tensions between art and commerce: Halston’s conflict between those who force him to make financially feasible decisions and his inner voice to stay committed to his vision is well documented in the film. With Ewan McGregor’s genius acting, we would say Halston is binge-watch-worthy. It is fun to travel back in time throughout those disco years of the 70s and 80s against the backdrop of glamorous New York and its fashion scene. If you are interested to learn more about the life of this self-made fashion genius, some of those reviews should not even matter.

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Peter Lindbergh - The Eye (2016)

This short documentary features the eminent fashion photographer and film director Peter Lindbergh, the only German photographer to be part of the select group of photographers who have found international acclaim in the fashion world. In this documentary, Lindbergh talks about his career. Viewers are invited to follow the photographer through his past works and to watch him take photographs of models in Lindbergh’s iconic black-and-white aesthetics. The editing of this film is not so distinctive compared to other fashion documentaries. Still, if you are a fan of portrait, black and white photography, or fashion photography in general, you will enjoy The Eye, as there is a lot to learn and hear from the man himself. The best thing about this documentary is that you hear about Lindbergh’s life and work directly from this charming and funny legend who eloquently articulates his ideas during the interviews.


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The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

While this is not a directly fashion-related movie, some viewers might get equally intrigued by the style of the characters as by the mysterious plot and awe-inspiring performance of Jude Law, Matt Damon, and Gwyneth Paltrow. The iconic looks of all characters perfectly match the narrative, and especially those of Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) are begging for our attention. The costumes in the movie represent mid-1950s fashion but not 50s fashion in general. There are American and Italian style differences while revealing the disparity of the characters’ socio-economic backgrounds. This sartorial contrast between Ripley and Greenleaf makes the movie more interesting. In the film, Ripley is wearing an Oxford cloth button-down shirt, khaki chinos, square horn-rimmed glasses with an awkwardly fitting corduroy jacket: the Ivy League attire, just like Ripley himself, out of place on the Italian Riviera. On the other hand, Greenleaf’s looks - with perfectly matching accessories such as a still wristwatch and a pork pie hat -are the epitome of Riviera chic, which complements the backdrop beautifully.

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