Entertainment, Fashion

Documentaries to watch in your sweats to remind you fashion still exists

Five options to choose from.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Aug 5, 2020

Just because we’re not changing outfits much these days doesn’t mean we have to forget what the world of fashion has to offer. For this reason, we’re summarizing five of the best fashion documentaries to revive your memory. 


First Monday in May

The legendary yearly Met Gala has been postponed for this year, but you can relive the experience by watching First Monday in May, now streaming on Hulu. It follows the creation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most attended fashion exhibit in history: the 2015 art exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass by curator Andrew Bolton. This documentary chronicles a year’s worth of preparations, with a bonus of seeing the ins and outs of Anna Wintour’s daily life, her role in the endeavour, and her questions of fashion as art. We see Andrew Bolton, the chief curator of the Met’s Costume Institute, as he conceptualizes and designs the Gala with Anna Wintour. Since 2016, China: Through the Looking Glass remains the most visited exhibition in the Costume Institute’s history and one of the most visited exhibitions in the entire history of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Martin Margiela: In His Own Words

The elusive Martin Margiela, who’s been a pioneer in the fashion industry for the last 20 years, has been rejecting publicity since he started his label. His face remains anonymous even with his significant influence in fashion. But this year marks the year that the designer finally decided to show a more personal look at his work in a revealing full-length documentary. The film’s title reveals the nature of the documentary: it is Martin Margiela in his own words. Released on April 10, the documentary offers a rare peek at the designer’s inspirations and vision via self-commentary. Written and directed by Reiner Holzemer, this film is about to set the stage for fashion biopics. Holzemer managed to get Martin to open up about his anonymity and his desire to continue his legacy. Apart from the main man behind the label, other big names will be featured, too, like Jean Paul Gaultier and Carine Roitfeld, as well as other industry professionals.


Notebook on Cities and Clothes

This documentary film about the Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto centers on a series of interviews with the protagonist. It’s directed by Wim Wenders, who’s known for his disdain for fashion, but undertook filming after being commissioned by the Pompidou Center in Paris. The film’s narrative and interviews are inter-spaced with footage of Yamamoto’s atelier, his previous work and his then upcoming show. Notably, Yamamoto’s comments and philosophical musings lead Wenders to make his own comments about the nature of cities, identity, and the role of cinema in modern life.



96-year-old Iris Apfel is one of the most prominent fashion icons of today. You probably know or have heard of “the auntie of the fashion industry.” Her seasoned eye and creative vision, as well as her impeccable use of colors in her clothing and fashion, have set her apart in the industry. She is responsible for nurturing talent and cultivating invigorating design concepts in interior design. In the age of supposed minimalism, Iris is arguably the most tasteful maximalist out there. In fact, her motto is: “more is more and less is a bore,” which her personal style and home design are evidence of. Do you need any more to be excited to watch this? Oftentimes, Iris serves as a creative consultant for many fashion houses and design firms because of her artistic experience, but it is truly her zest for life and abundance that makes her worth everyone’s time. 


Inside British Vogue

If you’ve always wanted to learn about the inner workings of fast-paced internationally known magazines, this documentary’s for you. Vogue Magazine is one of the many publications housed under Conde Nast and Inside British Vogue gives us access to the day-to-day activities of British Vogue editors and directors. The process of developing stories, styling models and creating magazine design and layout are only a few of the artistic duties that this documentary exposes. Every fashion-lover, designer, or writer would love to see inner workings of the most influential and glorified fashion publications in the fashion industry, so sit back (sweats or not) and enjoy the show.


Photo via Wim Wenders Stiftung