From Runways to Red Carpets: 7 Films About the Fashion World's Heavy Hitters

Image credit: Legion-Media

This movie is more fashionable than my entire wardrobe combined.

Lagerfeld Confidential

Rodolphe Marconi, 2007

Rodolphe Marconi wasn't the first director to make a film about Karl Lagerfeld, but he was definitely the first who managed to convince the Kaiser to allow a man with a camera into his life. Before the designer agreed to be filmed, the production crew pestered his secretary for six months. More than 150 hours of footage depicting Lagerfeld's private life had been filmed, and the final film features one of the most intimate interviews with the fashion icon.

Coco Before Chanel

Anne Fontaine, 2009

The artistic drama starring Audrey Tautou in the title role doesn't show the triumph of the French designer — rather, it concentrates on Chanel's path to recognition and fulfilling her dreams. We see Coco as a young orphan, salesgirl at a provincial store, cabaret singer, and finally — owner of her own hat store. In 2010, the picture was nominated for an Oscar for Best Costume Design and has since then become a classic of fashion cinema.

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Frédéric Tcheng, Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt, 2011

The documentary about Harper's Bazaar and Vogue's legendary editor consists of interviews with Diana Vreeland's colleagues, family, and friends. Many personal details about her life are revealed, including her childhood years, friendships with America's most influential people, the earliest magazine covers, and her work with the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Watch the picture to get a glimpse into the life of Diana's glossy personality and see how fashion industry stars are born.

Saint Laurent

Bertrand Bonello, 2014

Saint Laurent is worth watching at least for the star-studded cast: Gaspard Ulliel, Jérémie Renier, Louis Garrel, and Léa Seydoux come together in Bertrand Bonello's feature film concentrating on the legendary designer's inner struggles during the peak of his career. The movie did not win the Palme d'Or at Cannes but was highly praised by critics — especially for the costumes and interior design — as one of the most beautiful pictures at the festival. Once you get introduced to the fashion star's biography through this film, you can go a little deeper and watch another production about him, released a year earlier — Yves Saint Laurent.

Valentino: The Last Emperor

Matt Tyrnauer, 2008

The film's director and Vanity Fair correspondent Matt Tyrnauer managed to do the impossible: he and his film crew got completely immersed in the fashion designer's private life and showed it in a way that only Valentino's close ones were able to see it. In the two years of filming the documentary, the team had become an integral part of the designer's life — so thanks to these efforts, we now have an incredibly personal and subtle account of the last years of his life and work. The production was wrapped up only three months before Valentino released his last collection.

Christian Dior: The Man Behind the Myth

Philippe Lanfranchi, 2005

In the film, Christian Dior appears as a conservative and very principled man. The documentary shows the backstory of his rise to fame: how the legendary designer developed his unique taste in fashion, where he drew his inspiration, and why Dior would always keep distance from clients and admirers. Philippe Lanfranchi's production features unique archival footage along with the modern-day shots from the Dior studio and interviews with the couturier's followers.

Bill Cunningham New York

Richard Press, 2010

The documentary tells the story of Bill Cunningham, the legendary New York–based photographer best known for his candid and street photography. As a weekly columnist at The New York Times, Cunningham published shots of people he met in the streets whose clothes and appearance made an impression on him, and his camera lens captured both famous and ordinary people. Richard Press' film is a tribute to the iconic figure in photography and fashion, who passed away six years after the documentary's release.