It was a boring Saturday afternoon when I was absentmindedly looking through Netflix for a new series or movie to binge watch. Trust me, this is what happens when you’ve finished all 10 seasons of Friends and are waiting for new episodes from A Korean Odyssey, Riverdale and Dynasty. So it came as a surprise when I found a whole new cache of fashion films under the “Recently Added” tab. And in the past few days, I’ve been riveted by the stories of notable designers and editors the likes of Zac Posen, Manolo Blahnik and Franca Sozzani. Here, all the fashion documentaries you can (and should) be streaming if you’re the least bit interested in fashion.
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1. House of Z
A stunningly moving documentary about the rise and fall and rise of American designer Zac Posen. When I first clicked play, I didn’t expect to be so moved by the narrative, but by the end, I found myself cheering the sheer determination and bravado Posen had. It shows the ups and downs, hard work and insecurities every designer must face and gives a long, hard look into the state of the fashion industry. One thing’s for sure: He’s not been dubbed “fashion’s comeback kid” for nothing!
Another stunningly realised fashion film, this time about celebrated Belgian designer Dries Van Noten. Directed by Reiner Holzemer, the film pulls back the printed screen and gives a look into the designer’s life as he juggles creating collections and his business. It was interesting to see the designer’s creative process and his commitment to his craft unfold on screen.
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3. Franca: Chaos and Creation
It’s legendary editor Franca Sozzani like you’ve never seen her before. Filmed and interviewed by her son Francesco Carrozzini, it gives us insight into the editor’s indomitable spirit and wonderfully creative outlook. It’s all the more bittersweet as it was released after the editor’s death in 2016.
4. Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards
With a cast of luminaries in tow, this film documents the famed shoe designer’s beginnings and history of his iconic shoe company that is beloved by women the world over. Prepare to find out some interesting things that have never been revealed to the world before!
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5. Maddmen: The Steve Madden Story
Technically, this is next on my watch list, but it looks set to be a wild ride. Steve Madden’s eponymous high street shoe and accessories company has been steeped in scandal in the past (stock manipulation, money, and securities fraud, anyone?) but he made a turnaround after leaving jail in 2005 and made his company into the success it is today.