Mia reviews fashion documentaries

Documentaries are my favourite form of film- reality is so much more interesting than fiction. Fashion is a strange animal-a beast- magestic but it lives in a jungle full of preditors. So much pressure is placed on designers as they keep the machine going- and in these documentaries we can see all these challenges up close- and how individuals cope with the strain.

The Manolo documentary is a little different as he does not have to put on Fashion Week Shows – we just get to enter the wonderful world of Manolo. It is a perfect world, with a perfect gentleman who created a perfect world for himself. I love listening to him, he is old worldly- from a world of beautiful manners – one feels uplifted after and hour or so in his company. The film is made by the multi-talented Michael Roberts. I cannot wait for a documentary on Mr Roberts. Google him, he is a person everyone in fashion should know about.

Possibly the sweetest man ever in “fashion”- Bill Cunningham was part of the fashion world for decades but never “of”  that world. This humble man built up an extraordinary library of images of what people wore- a collection that will live in history. The contrast between himself and his work will leave you with a lump in your throat.

When Versace was murdered I sat, riveted to CNN for all four days until the murderer was caught. It shook the fashion world, and the details were few in the beginning. There was even speculation that the Mafia was involved. Now we can see the whole story in all its details and layers – and it is brilliantly acted and produced.

Vogue Italia has been the most exciting fashion publication of the past 4 decades. No other magazine’s shoots have been able to come close to the work that was produced by Franca Sozzani at its helm.  This documentary was done shortly before her death, by her son. It shows the thought process, planning and production of some of the most iconic fashion photographs ever done.


Everyone knows Iris. No introduction needed. The fearlessness to wear her own style, and mix cultures and price points is inspiring. I found the love story with her husband very endearing and sweet.

Phantom Thread is meant to be Daniel Day Lewis last role before retiring, rumour has it.It portrays a perfectionist designer and his relationship with his lover and sister. I could not bear it, and turned it off half way. I am not a fan of controlling men. Triggers me. Others loved it, so it could just be me. I found him an awful human being.

Possibly one of my favourite fashion documentaries- more so than the September issue. We enter the world and minds of the best fashion Editors in the world and it is sublime.

Dries Van Noten is my favourite designer, this documentary had me from the get go. I loved getting to “know” the designer who is normally very much out of the spot light. There is a lovely romantic element to it, the story of partners who share everything. And being very nosy- I loved seeing how they live and work.. and I was in total awe when I saw their home and garden. It is all so perfect and lovely.


The Eye has to travel MUST be watched by everyone remotely interested in fashion and photography. It should be an unspoken rule. Diana Vreeland changed the world. It is non negotiable- must watch.

Zac Posen’s story is fascinating because it so real. The successes and the failures, the meteoric rise and terrible fall. It is a warning in a way to earn your stripes and learn your craft before success comes. Young designers should watch this- early success is a curse.


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