Cover Here are the best fashion documentaries to watch when the weather is blue (Photo: Courtesy of Netflix)

These heartfelt fashion documentaries take us through the journey and imminent struggles of fashion industry icons

Sure, Netflix shows that flaunt killer outfits and designer clothes are great—think Bridgeton, Halston and tons of Korean dramas. But nothing screams fashion more than fashion documentaries. So whether you're a fashion fanatic or simply curious about the industry, these fashion documentaries on Netflix prove inspiring for all.

These films journey through the intensities of the field and highlight industry icons as they pursue their passion for fashion—whether they're world-famous designers or behind the scenes heroes. They portray the artists in an honest light, peering behind every myth and rumour to reveal their undeniable talent. Need a watch when it's raining and you're stuck indoors? We list down the best fashion documentaries to stream on Netflix.

See also: 10 Indoor Activities For When It Rains In Hong Kong

1. 7 Days Out

A seven-episode documentary that follows some of the most significant events in the worlds of sports, fashion, food and space, 7 Days Out takes us behind the scenes at Chanel‘s Spring/Summer 2018 Haute Couture show in its first episode. 

It follows Chanel’s legendary art director Karl Lagerfeld and his team as they bring the dream-like Haute Couture creations to life. Directly by Andrew Rossi, the show gives the audience an intimate look at the final preparations for one of the world’s most highly anticipated couture shows, and a week in the life of the late designer during the thick of the pre-show whirlwind.

See also: Memoir By Karl Lagerfeld's Longtime Bodyguard Sebastien Jondeau Out January 27

2. Iris

The now 99-year-old Iris Apfel continues her work as a businesswoman and fashion icon, saying, "I feel lucky to be working. If you're lucky enough to do something you love, everything else follows."

This documentary showcases her free spirit through her sartorially eccentric glamour, inspiring us at every level as this bittersweet feature reminds us of the importance of individuality. Even at the height of her career, we see Iris stick to her values, although at her dotage, as a middle-class woman who grew up during the Great Depression, teaching us to maintain authenticity at every turn and sourcing luxury from love over material goods.

See also: Iris Apfel: The Story Behind The Style Icon


3. Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards

Regarded as one of the greatest shoe designers and makers of the 20th and 21st Century, this documentary follows the career of Manolo Blahnik, beginning from his childhood memories of making shoes of muslin and ribbons for lizards, to being praised by fashion's elite. The film features his regular clients and friends, including the influential Rihanna and Naomi Campbell.

As Kristina Blahnik, his niece and CEO of Manolo Blahnik International, puts it: ‘“You get insight into his mind and his private world. It isn’t about shoes; it’s about a feeling, a spirit.” This film is visionary of Manolo’s ethereal and luxury handcrafts that grace many feets today.

See also: Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards Screening

4. Abstract: The Art Of Design

Abstract: The Art Of Design is all about design, whether it's fashion design, stage design, architecture, graphic design, interior design and so on. This Netflix original introduces the most inspiring minds in various areas of design. The first season profiled illustrator Christoph Niemann, Nike shoe designer Tinker Hatfield, architect Bjarke Ingles, interior designer IIse Crawford and so much more. 

Meanwhile, the second season featured costume designer, Ruth Carter, typeface designer Jonathan Hoefler, digital product designer and Ian Splater and others. Abstract: The Art Of Design is perfect for those looking for creative inspiration and pondering on which design field to venture into.

See also: Meet Stephan Jones, The Man Behind Christian Dior's Most Memorable Hat Designs

5. House of Z

Fashion prodigy Zac Posen launched his fashion empire at the young age of 21 whilst studying at Central Saint Martins, after having designed a pink silk dress for Naomi Campbell, which essentially launched his career.

Director Sandy Chronopoulos focuses on the developing events following his initial ascent, unveiling archived footage of his downfall and his subsequent rise after several trials and tribulations. House of Z captures the runway of Zac Posen’s career through a truthful depiction and is filled with heartfelt moments.

See also: 10 Emerging Asian Fashion Designers You Need To Know

6. Jeremy Scott: The People's Designer

The controversial designer—also called ‘the people’s designer’—Jeremy Scott had humble beginnings in Missouri and rocketed to stardom, despite his continuous struggle with rejection from the industry. This documentary stitches together his journey to validation— eventually being noticed by the Council of Fashion Designers In America (CFDA) and crowned Creative Director of Moschino.

His overcoming of challenges whilst remaining true to his unconventional and distinct style pulls at heartstrings as he gains the admiration of famous figures like Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and A$AP Rocky, who says that when it comes to Jeremy Scott, "It's F-U-N — that's it, that's all it is."

See also: Dries Van Noten On Dance, China and Kylie Jenner

7. Franca: Chaos and Creation

Told by Francesco Carrozzini, Franca Sozzani’s son, the documentary paints an intimate portrait of her three decades as editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue, as she broke grounds by touching on taboos on the covers, creating striking covers from the 80s to her unfortunate death in 2016.

“Why can’t I talk about it? Why can’t a fashion magazine talk about what’s happening in the world?” Sozzani says. This wowing documentary fixates on the wild and imaginative photographs this woman curated, that brought harsh reality into the public eye from women being abused, to women in several stages of plastic surgery. This feature highlights the private life of the iconic Franca and her chaotic manifestos throughout her history for a truly moving experience.

See also: Get To Know Fashion Designer, Saloni Lodha

8. The First Monday in May

We all know how extravagant the Met Gala can be. It's the event that brings together celebrities, models and insiders to flaunt their most fashionable attires and also to raise money for Mnet Museum's Costume Institute. This documentary follows Anna Wintour and her crew on how they pull of organising one of the world's biggest fashion events.

This one will look into the Chinese-inspired fashion exhibit, China: Through the Looking Night and the subsequent gala that accompanied the exhibit. The most attended fashion exhibition of its time, it featured 150 garments from 40 designers.

See also: Met Gala Returns For 2021 With A Two-Part Event

This article was originally published on April 23, 2020 and was updated on June 4, 2021.

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