I decided to make fashion documentaries my focus this week, while watching films wearing a constant cycle of sweats (daytime pajamas, nighttime pajamas, repeat). I’ve always been a big fan of fashion docs and decided that now is a good time to watch something glamorous, at a time when we might feel our least glamorous. Better yet, put on your finest just for fun, pour a glass of champagne, and watch one of these films. Here are a few I recommend.
Sag Harbor Cinema is offering films on its website with its Sag Harbor Cinema @ Home initiative. One of the films on offer is “The Times of Bill Cunningham,” directed by Mark Bozek.
I had originally planned to see this film at the Angelika Film Center in Manhattan, which felt like a perfect fit, but the novel coronavirus had other plans for us to all stay in. In the film, Bill Cunningham, the legendary New York Times photographer and fashion historian, shares his life story in his own words, from a recently unearthed 1994 interview, along with photographs from his archive.
The film is narrated by Sarah Jessica Parker, and features previously unpublished images from the iconic street photographer who captured the trends of fashion on the streets of Manhattan for decades.
“As long as there are human beings, there will be fashion, because people want to feel good about themselves,” said Cunningham during the interview. Visit www.sagharborcinema.org to rent for $9.99.
I also watched the “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel” documentary for the first time. It’s a 2011 documentary about the life and career of Vreeland, a fashion editor famous for her time at Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and The Met’s Costume Institute.
The film features recorded audio and filmed interviews with the editor, as well as interviews with colleagues, family, and friends. From her move to New York City in the 1920s, where she was inspired by the dancing, jazz, and new fashions to becoming the editor-in-chief at Vogue, and turning the magazine into a much-loved artistic publication, the film gives much-needed glamour.
“Iris,” a 2014 documentary about fashion icon and designer Iris Apfel, is another one of my favorites. The now 98-year-old style maven has been an undeniable presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. The film chronicles her life.
“The September Issue” is a 2009 documentary film that goes behind-the-scenes with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. The film follows Wintour and her staff during the production of the September 2007 issue of American Vogue. The September issue is traditionally the most important issue of the year. It depicts the effort that goes into making the magazine, and the passion that Grace Coddington has as creative director.
“McQueen” is the 2018 biographical documentary based on the life and career of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen. From his early start as a tailor, to creating his own masterful line, to his untimely death. McQueen died by suicide in 2010 at the age of 40.