Because his picks for Nordic TV shows went over so well, and because this is a time that calls for comfort-viewing for long stretches of time, Lorenzo has put together his absolute must-watch fashion documentaries. Anytime there’s a snowfall or he gets some bug that’s going around, he’ll settle in on the couch, cover himself extravagantly with throws and cats, and settle in to watch any or all of these docs. They are his faves of all time. Cycle through these and you’ll not only be gently bathed in fabulousness and comfort, but you’ll also wind up getting quite the education on the history of fashion, as well as the lives of its movers and shakers.
Bill Cunningham New York (Vudu, Amazon Prime and iTunes)
We all get dressed for Bill,” says Vogue editrix Anna Wintour. The “Bill” in question is 80+ New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the Times Style section in his columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours.” Documenting uptown fixtures (Wintour, Tom Wolfe, Brooke Astor, David Rockefeller—who all appear in the film out of their love for Bill), downtown eccentrics and everyone in between, Cunningham’s enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair. In turn, Bill Cunningham New York is a delicate, funny and often poignant portrait of a dedicated artist whose only wealth is his own humanity and unassuming grace.
Valentino: The Last Emperor (iTunes)
Produced and directed by Matt Tyrnauer, “Valentino: The Last Emperor” is an intimate fly-on-the-wall exploration of the singular world of one of Italy’s most famous men and provides a first-time glimpse into Valentino’s world of bygone glamour. Filmed over the course of two years, the crew shot over 250 hours of footage with exclusive, unprecedented access to Valentino and his longtime partner, Giancarlo Giammetti. The resulting non-fiction film is a portrait of an extraordinary partnership – the longest running in fashion – and is a story about a master confronting the final act of his celebrated career.
Unzipped (Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube Movies and iTunes)
Director Douglas Keeve captures the glamour and mayhem of high fashion in this eye-popping documentary that follows designer Isaac Mizrahi as he puts together his 1994 runway collection to be presented during New York’s fall shows. A slew of supermodels and other famous faces – including Richard Gere, Sandra Bernhard, Liza Minnelli and Faye Dunaway – make appearances.
Dior and I (Vudu, Hulu, iTunes and YouTube Movies)
“Dior and I “brings the viewer inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’ first haute couture collection as its new artistic director—a true labor of love created by a dedicated group of collaborators. Melding the everyday, pressure- filled components of fashion with mysterious echoes from the iconic brand’s past, the film is also a colorful homage to the seamstresses who serve Simons’ vision.
The September Issue (Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube Movies and iTunes)
The September 2007 issue of Vogue magazine weighed nearly five pounds, and was the single largest issue of a magazine ever published. With unprecedented access, ‘The September Issue,’ directed and produced by R.J. Cutler, tells the story of legendary Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and her larger-than-life team of editors creating the issue and ruling the world of fashion.
Iris (Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube Movies and iTunes)
“Iris” pairs legendary 87-year-old documentarian Albert Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even in Iris’ dotage, a soaring free spirit continues to inspire. IRIS portrays a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life’s sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment. Despite the abundance of glamour in her current life, she continues to embrace the values and work ethic established during a middle-class Queens upbringing during the Great Depression. “I feel lucky to be working. If you’re lucky enough to do something you love, everything else follows.”
McQueen (Vudu and Amazon Prime)
A personal look at the extraordinary life, career and artistry of Alexander McQueen. Through exclusive interviews with his closest friends and family, recovered archives, exquisite visuals and music, McQueen is an authentic celebration and thrilling portrait of an inspired yet tortured fashion visionary. Directed by Ian Bonhôte and co-directed/written by Peter Ettedgui.
L’Amour Fou (YouTube Movies and iTunes)
The public life of Yves Saint Laurent was as extravagant as it was decadent, as a design prodigy and then the grand coutourier of a fashion empire he influenced fifty years of style — but few are familiar with the private life of the legend. In Pierre Thoretton’s L’AMOUR FOU, Pierre Bergé, the man with which YSL shared four decades of his life and love, reflects on the equally extravagant history of their personal relationship. Framed around the 2009 auction of the priceless, elaborate art collection amassed by Yves and Pierre personally over several decades, this extraordinary documentary provides an unprecedented look at the life of a mythic personality, whose personal life matched his public for elegance, extravagance and passion. An official selection of the Toronto and TriBeCa Film Festivals, L’AMOUR FOU is an un-missable film event for fans of documentary film and fashion die-hards alike.
Diana Vreeland – The Eye Has to Travel (Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube Movies and iTunes)
“Diana Vreeland – The Eye Has to Travel” is an intimate portrait and a vibrant celebration of one of the most influential women of the 20th century, an enduring icon whose influence changed the face of fashion, beauty, art, publishing and culture forever. During her fifty-year reign as the “Empress of Fashion,” she launched Twiggy, advised Jackie O and coined some of fashion’s most eloquent proverbs such as the bikini is the biggest thing since the atom bomb. She was the fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar where she worked for 25 years before becoming editor-in-chief of Vogue followed by a remarkable stint at the Met’s Costume Institute where she helped popularize its historical collections.
The Gospel According to André (Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Prime and YouTube Movies)
“The Gospel According to André” chronicles the life and career of André Leon Talley, former Vogue magazine editor-at-large and one of the fashion industry’s and New York culture’s most influential icons. Beginning his career at Andy Warhol’s Factory in the 1970s before climbing the ranks of the New York fashion editorial world, Talley made a lasting impact by pushing to include African-American models and designers in such major publications as Women’s Wear Daily, W, and Vogue magazine. Today, his judgment is sought by top designers, stylists, and celebrity clientele. Featuring fashion luminaries such as Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Valentino, and Manolo Blahnik testifying to André’s gifts, the film traces his journey with rich archival footage that summons multiple eras of stylish and outlandish clothing.
Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer (Netflix and Amazon Prime)
The story of Jeremy Scott, who is making his mark as the king of pop fashion with his unique and ornate style. The film offers an in-depth insight from fashion industry leaders and A-list celebrities on how he has been able to break through as one of the most respected designers in the world without compromising his bold and unconventional style. As we follow his journey through several Fashion weeks, we learn a larger story of his struggle to gain acceptance in the fashion world and overcome immense challenges to reach his goals. The film examines the dynamics between Jeremy, his team and for the first time ever, gives audiences the opportunity to observe Jeremy’s creative process. Director Vlad Yudin gives viewers an intimate look at Jeremy’s worldview beyond clothing and gives insight on his struggle with oppression while growing up in Kansas City, Missouri.
Halston (Vudu, Amazon Prime and YouTube Movies)
From Iowa to Studio 54 to Wall Street, Halston lived an American dream. Prodigiously talented, he reigned over fashion in the 1970s, becoming a household name. But everything changed in the Wall Street era. With his empire under threat, Halston takes the biggest gamble of his life.
[Photo Credit: YouTube.com]