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13 Fashion documentaries everyone needs to watch

Take a look inside some of the world's most creative minds...

ohn Galliano and Editor-In-Chief of American Vogue and Chief Content Officer of Conde Nast Dame Anna Wintour attend a cocktail reception ahead of The Fashion Awards 2021 at Royal Albert Hall
Orion Scott
Fashion Features Writer
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For those of us who are not on the elite list, seeing inside the doors of a famed fashion house will forever remain a dream. However, thanks to the art of modern filmmaking, some of fashion's most iconic names and houses have invited fans behind closed doors and into their minds, showcasing the wonderful world of what goes on behind the scenes.

With a long list of fashion documentaries already out there, and a few on the way... here are a few favourites that sparked a chord and made our style-loving hearts sing. 

High & Low: John Galliano

After much anticipation and a very long wait, John Galliano's new documentary High & Low: John Galliano is almost here. Debuting on March 8th the tell all doco follows one of the fashion world's greatest minds from his days as a boy in south London, right up to his Central Saint Martins graduate collection, his time at Dior and the tumultuous years spent at the helm of his self titled Maison, John Galliano.

A still from High & Low: John Galliano© High & Low: John Galliano

Watch on March 8th: In selected cinemas

Dior and I

As someone who deeply admires the world of Haute Couture, Dior and I shines a spotlight on the talented artisans that often go unnoticed. Released back in 2015 when Raf Simons was at the helm, the story shows how the long-time Dior seamstresses and creative team helped Raf pull together his first Haute Couture collection. I loved this documentary because it tastefully captured how a creative mind like Raf Simons works in an unintrusive way. Whilst watching you almost feel like a fly on the atelier wall watching a well-oiled machine at work. 

Raf Simmons at the helm of Dior © CIM Productions
Raf Simmons at the helm of Dior

Watch on: Apple TV

MORE: We can’t wait to binge 'Palm Royale' next year, mainly for the Kaia Gerber fashion content

Bill Cunningham: New York

This is by far one of my favourite movies that I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. Bill Cunningham, a longstanding photographer for The New York Times is one of the fashion world's most iconic creatives. Throughout his illustrious career, Bill became famous for photographing people out and about on the city streets, sparking the first wave of street-style photography. Throughout the documentary long-time friends and admirers of Bill share their love for him and his craft, including Anna Wintour who famously says in the documentary, "We all get dressed for Bill.”

Bill in action, photographing a NYC local© First Thought Films
Bill in action, photographing a NYC local

Watch on: Prime Video and Apple TV

The First Monday in May

We’ve all wondered what it would be like to attend the Met Gala and thanks to the 2016 documentary, we got closer than ever. The story follows the ins and outs of everything and everyone who’s involved in making the most famous night in fashion. 

The First Monday in May highlights the 2015 art exhibition, China: Through The Looking Glass© Magnolia Pictures
The First Monday in May highlights the 2015 art exhibition, China: Through The Looking Glass

Watch on: Prime Video, Apple TV and Netflix

The Mysterious Mr Lagerfeld

Taking a deep dive into the personal life of one of fashion's most iconic, designers, faces and muses. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind those famous dark-lensed sunglasses The Mysterious Mr Lagerfeld is a documentary not to be missed. Hello! Fashion’s Feature Director Becky Donaldson's favourite scene is when “the director, Michael Waldman, asks if Karl's beloved cat Choupette minds being filmed and it is declared, "He loves the Lens."”

An out of place Karl takes to the streets to relive his past© The Mysterious Mr Lagerfeld
An out-of-place Karl takes to the streets to relive his past

Watch on: BBC iPlayer

The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards

For those who have a thing for designer shoes and Carrie Bradshaw, the story of Manolo Blahnik will fill a kitten-heeled hole in your heart. The story follows the designer from the early days as a cobbler, right through to fitting Hollywood's most famed faces for red carpet events. I love how this documentary feels like you’re having a conversation with Manolo. Whilst watching the master at work, hand carving and sculpting his heels he chats about life and how you should “never take yourself seriously, or you’re finished.” 

Manolo himself mid creation © Music Box Films
Manolo himself mid creation

Watch on: Apple TV

The September Issue

If you ever wanted to know what it was really like for Andy Sach, then the September Issue will be sure to answer a few questions. This documentary follows Anna Wintour and her trade mark bob as she prepares the hefty 840-page September issue for Vogue Magazine. Hello! Fashion’s Feature Director Becky Donaldson says that the documentary, “kind of confirms what the rest of the world believes that people in the fashion industry are like...” especially when Anna Wintour says that, “Sienna Miller is 'too toothy' in her Mario Testino cover shoot.”

An unimpressed or impressed Anna Wintour sitting front row, we can't tell...© The September Issue
An unimpressed or impressed Anna Wintour sitting front row, we can't tell...

Watch on: Prime Video


Roy Halston Frowick dominated the industry back in the 1970’s, essentially putting America on the stylistic map. The two-hour documentary follows the designer as he takes both financial and creative risks during the Wall Street era, determined to save his clothing empire.

Halston is directed by the same mastermind who also gave us Dior and I
Halston is directed by the same mastermind who also gave us Dior and I

Watch on: Prime Video and Apple TV

Westwood: Punk. Icon. Activist

If you’re a Westwood fan then you’ve likely already seen this iconic look back through the illustrious life of the late Vivienne Westwood. However, if you’re yet to tick it off your list, get ready to watch a true heroine in action as she uses her voice to create a better fashion world.

V© Westwood: Punk. Icon. Activist.
One of fashions most influential designers hard at work

Watch on: Prime Video 


Possibly one of the most heart-wrenching fashion documentaries out there, McQueen follows the work of world-renowned mogul, Alexander McQueen as he uplifts his East London roots and makes waves in Paris. With a heavy focus on the designer's most groundbreaking fashion shows, including the revolutionary 13th look at his Spring/Summer 1999 show where a white dress gets painted by robots.

An icon at work © McQueen
An icon at work

Watch on: Prime Video  and Apple TV

7 Days Out

Chanel lovers this one’s for you. Filmed back when the iconic Karl Lagerfeld was still with us, 7 Days Out follows the Chanel house in preparation for the SS18 couture collection. From the endless amounts of fittings and silhouette changes to the set design and hair and makeup looks, this doco shows Karl in his prime, leading a legacy.

King Karl on the set of 7 Days Out© Netflix
King Karl on the set of 7 Days Out

Watch on: Netflix

Inside the Dream

Technically Inside the Dream is classed as a beauty documentary, but this one is just too good not to include. This wildly interesting watch follows Dior's new director of perfume creation Francis Kurkdjian and his team as they take on one of the industry's biggest scent challenges: reinventing the legendary J'adore.

A close look inside the J'adore field© Dior Beauty
A close look inside the J'adore field

Watch on: Prime Video

Valentino: The Last Emperor

Take a peak behind the scenes of the haute couture world as fashion icon Valentino Garavani prepares for his final show. Hello! Fashion's Digital Editor Natalie Salmon says that she's "Lost count of how many times I’ve watched The Last Emperor, it came out in 2008 but it’s without a doubt still my fave documentary and one of the many reasons I wanted to work in this industry. Honestly, just the scene of Valentino loading his eight pugs into his private jet is vision board material." 

Valentino Garavani posing with just a few of his red hot creations© Valentino: The Last Emperor
Valentino Garavani posing with just a few of his red hot creations

Watch on: Prime Video

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