Going behind the Catwalks and Magazine Racks

Going behind the Catwalks and Magazine Racks

Since the release of The September Issue, fashion documentaries have been the answer to all our enquiries about what really goes on behind the scenes within the biggest fashion houses and magazines. With so much power, money and influence at play, no wonder it makes for thrilling cinema. Although it’s hard to forget that films like Zoolander wonderfully parodied how seriously the fashion industry takes itself, documentaries offer more exposure on the workings of a brutal, yet idiosyncratic business.

Dior & I

It’s important to consider that the work of designers and, the all too overlooked role of editors, are both part of a creative process. By taking a lens into these often exclusive environments, we are invited into a tense arena where egos and opinions are bound to clash purely because they’re all so eager to achieve perfection.

To watch the arduous development of the trends and glossy pages we consume is a privilege, particularly for the fact that most of us will rarely get such an insight into that world. It doesn’t matter to the members of this world whether we believe they live up to the stereotypes of them, but it’s usually a refreshing experience to be given the role of fly-on-the-wall and pick apart the different characters and realise that they are human too – regardless of what insane quote you’ve seen attributed to them.

Of course fashion documentaries needn’t focus solely on the roles of those in offices and studios; several films have picked upon the ways in which fashion is transformed into style. From Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf’s and its exploration of the department store’s role in New York’s fashion scene to Advanced Style’s focus on how age is but a number when it comes to having style, there is so much that can be covered in this medium.

Scatter my Ashes at Bergdorf’s

With the current cinema release of Dior and I, there is evidently a story to be found in all corners of the fashion world. This particular one looks at the trials and tribulations of Raf Simons’ first Haute Couture collection for the brand as its new creative director. Following in the footsteps of John Galliano’s controversial exit from the position, Simons was met with enormous amounts of pressure, if not hope, as the film documents the single month he had to create the collection.

Not all documentaries on fashion must be this fast-paced and tense, but it does help illustrate the realities of working in the industry. As long as the fashion world continues to adapt and evolve, the medium of film can continue to elucidate the inner-workings of this elite and elusive empire.


Written by Victoria Rodrigues O’Donnell

Visuals not owned by XXY Magazine

Dior&IAdvanced Style