To say the least, we could all use a moment of escapism during these tumultuous times. Enter these style documentaries on Netflix, where you can momentarily forget the constant barrage of news headlines, and be immersed in a world of beauty created by some of the most influential figures in fashion.
From a star-studded design competition to art house films, we rounded up the best fashion documentaries on Netflix to stream right now.
Hip-hop has had a remarkable influence on the fashion industry since the ’90s, but it hasn’t received the recognition it deserves. Director Lisa Cortes sheds light on the genre’s sartorial contributions in this documentary, where Black female designers including April Walker finally get their flowers. The film, which was a hit at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, also follows stylist Misa Hylton, who has dressed style icons like Diddy, Lil Kim, and Mary J. Blidge. Simply put, it’s a breezy and informative look at an artistic movement, and the visionaries who shaped it.
Total Length: 67 minutes
IMDb Rating: N/A
Think of this as Project Runway made for millennials, and with established fashion designers in their own right. Hosted by Queer Eye‘s style guru Tan France and British fashionista Alexa Chung, the 10-episode reality show is a binge-worthy search for the next great designer. While the first few episodes consisting of team challenges may be a bit of a chore to get through, the series eventually finds its rhythm as it highlights the colorful and endearing personalities who create these fabulous garments. Fashion heavyweights including Phillip Lim, Prabal Gurung, and Tommy Hilfiger serve as guest judges.
Total Episodes: 10
IMDb Rating: 7.3
Jeremy Scott, Moschino’s eccentric creative director, has made a name for himself through irreverent designs that have been championed by fashion cognoscenti and A-listers alike. Russian director Vlad Yudin pulls the curtain back on Scott’s larger-than-life persona in his 2015 documentary. Through interviews with Scott and his celebrity pals, including Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus, and Jared Leto, Yudin follows the rise of Scott from his humble upbringing in rural Missouri to his meteoric rise in fashion, becoming the first American to helm a major Italian brand.
Total Length: 108 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.4
This thoughtful and lyrical documentary received a standing ovation when it screened at the 2016 Venice Film Festival, and it’s easy to see why. The film centers around Vogue Italy’s former editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani, as told through the eyes of director Francesco Carrozzini, who is also her son. While Carrozzini is not shy about highlighting his mother’s seemingly endless accolades — her work has launched the careers of fashion photographers Peter Lindbergh, Steven Meisel, and Michel Comte — he also explores the cost of her searing ambition. In an interview with the New York Times about the film, Carrozzini said: “It’s really about a mother and son and trying to understand this thing that took up so much of her life, which was fashion.”
Total Length: 79 minutes
IMDb Rating: 7.6
In the 1960s, models were considered little more than walking clothes hangers — that is, until John Casablancas came along. The bon vivant and high society staple founded Elite Model Management, a Parisian boutique modeling agency that grew into a global powerhouse and transformed the careers of beauties like Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Gisele Bundchen into the supermodels they are today. This French documentary traces Casablancas’ glitzy career trajectory thanks to personal one-on-one interviews with Casablancas, along with personal archives, which made for tabloid fodder back in the day.
Total Length: 81 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.3
F. Scott Fitzgerald once famously said that there are no second acts in American life. Well, tell that to Steve Madden, the prolific shoe designer whose well-appointed, reasonably priced heels became a normcore favorite. In 2002, he was imprisoned because of his financial involvement with the real-life Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort (though Madden proclaims his innocence to this day). But after being released in 2005, Madden and his brand bounced back into the limelight stronger than ever, and his heels are endorsed by Cardi B, Taylor Swift, and Emily Ratajkowski. His rise, fall, and comeback are thoroughly captured in Ben Patterson’s documentary.
Total Length: 77 minutes
IMDb Rating: 6.6
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