Once upon a time, in 2008, when I was a fashion design student. I was on a constant search for inspiration and did my best to explore the fashion world. And fashion documentaries was the best way to do it. I could stay in front of them until early hours and could have stayed even longer if not morning alarm calling to lectures.
This is how this list made its way to my notes. I keep it up to date and I would swear for every movie in it, hence – I brush the dust away and share it here.

1. Martin Margiela: In His Own Words (2019)

Documentary offering a view on Maison Martin Margiela during Martin Margiela’s helm.

2. Wonder Boy, Olivier Rousteing, né sous X (2019)

Autobiographical documentary on Olivier Roustein, artistic director of Balmain.

3. Halston (2019)

Prodigiously talented, Halston reigned over fashion in the 1970s and became a household name. But everything changed in the Wall Street era. With his empire under threat, Halston took the biggest gamble of his life.

4. Very Ralph (2019)

A documentary about the origin and the up growth of the fashion label Ralph Lauren.

5. Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist (2019)

The first film to encompass the remarkable story of one of the true icons of our time, as she fights to maintain her brand’s integrity, her principles – and her legacy.

6. 7 Days Out “CHANEL Haute Couture Fashion Show” (2018)

During Paris Fashion Week, the Chanel team hustles to put the finishing touches on an extravagant runway show designed by fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld.

7. House of Z (2017)

A feature documentary on the life and career of designer Zac Posen.

8. The Gospel According to André (2017)

From the segregated American South to the fashion capitals of the world, operatic fashion editor André Leon Talley’s life and career are on full display, in a poignant portrait that includes appearances by Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Bethann Hardison, Valentino, and Manolo Blahnik.

9. Dries (2017)

DRIES – an intimate Portrait of the Fashion Designer Dries Van Noten. This film offers an insight into the life, mind and creative heart of a Master Fashion Designer who, for more than 25 years, has remained independent in a landscape of fashion consolidation and globalization. Reiner Holzemer follows him for one year and witnesses the creation of four collections.

10. Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards (2017)

An in-depth portrait of MANOLO BLAHNIK, self-confessed ‘cobbler’ and the man regarded by most influential fashion figures as ‘the best shoe-maker of the 20th and 21st centuries. A film for anyone who has ever looked longingly at a pair of… ‘Manolos’.

11. Franca: Chaos and Creation (2016)

An intimate portrait of Franca Sozzani, the legendary editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue.

12. ZARA: The world’s richest man (2016)

One of the world’s iconic fashion moguls is explored in this documentary. Armancio Ortega, founder of Zara, is profiled in a doc that delves into the secret to Zara’s success in the French fashion world and beyond.

13. Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue (2016)

For the first time in its 100 year history British Vogue allows TV cameras to film behind closed doors granting unprecedented access to senior staff as the fashion magazine prepares to celebrate its centenary.

14. Crazy About Tiffany’s (2016)

A past to present fully authorized documentary of Tiffany & Co.

15. The First Monday in May (2016)

Follows the creation of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s most attended fashion exhibition in history, “China: Through The Looking Glass,” an exploration of Chinese-inspired Western fashions by Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton.

16. Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer (2015)

The story of fashion designer Jeremy Scott’s ascent from a small town in Missouri to his current position as the Creative Director of Moschino.

17. Dior and I (2014)

Dior and I brings the viewer inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’ first haute couture collection as its new artistic director-a true labor of love created by a dedicated group of collaborators. Melding the everyday, pressure-filled components of fashion with mysterious echoes from the iconic brand’s past, the film is also a colorful homage to the seamstresses who serve Simons’ vision.

18. Mademoiselle C (2013)

A documentary focused on former Vogue Paris editor-in-chief and fashion stylist Carine Roitfeld as she moves to New York to launch her own magazine.

19. Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s (2013)

A documentary on the Manhattan department store with interviews from an array of fashion designers, style icons, and celebrities.

20. The Tents (2012)

First ever look behind-the-scenes at NY Fashion Week, with the history of how it all began in the early 1990’s. Story told by the ‘Fashion Insiders’ and the Top Fashion Designers: Betsey Johnson, Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Zac Posen, etc.; the Top Fashion Editors from Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, In-Style Magazine & other fashion industry journalists. Commentary from Carson Kressley, Michael Musto and Robert Verdi. Featuring Models galore and the best runway fashions from over the years. Original music from some of the most exciting new artists on the scene. This film documents the total extravaganza that NY Fashion Week has become and takes a look at the future of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week as it prepares to make the debut at Lincoln Center.

21. In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye (2012)

Documentary film takes a look at some of the world’s most influential fashion images as conceived by the magazine’s iconic fashion editors.

22. Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution (2012)

The top American and French designers and models face off in a lavish, once-in-a-lifetime show that will change the course of fashion history.

23. Paul Smith, Gentleman Designer (2012)

Paul Smith has 400 shops and outlets in 35 countries, 12 clothing lines, 400 million euros in yearly revenue, sales figures topping Chanel’s, partnerships with Evian, Apple, and Austin, as well as prestigious bicycle and race car brands. All that, and his popularity around the world is only growing. The secret of his success? A brilliant concept called “Maximizing Britishness” or “How to build a brand and an empire around English pop culture with a brilliant marketing strategy and an unrivalled sense of imagination.” Who is Paul Smith? How has he managed to get millions of men interested in fashion? How did this modest bloke from Nottingham become synonymous with elegance in men’s fashion?

24. Yohji Yamamoto: This Is My Dream (2011)

Yohji Yamamoto’s confession “for my total life, I am comfortable being in black, not in the light” opens Theo Stanley’s intimate documentary film, ‘This is My Dream’. Throughout its enthralling thirty minute running time, notoriously private Japanese fashion design icon Yamamoto allows Stanley to shine a light on his life and creative process. The film tracks Yamamoto and the global team working on the S/S10 Y-3 collection for a short period of time during the Summer and early Autumn of 2009 Tokyo to New York.

25. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2011)

A look at the life and work of the influential fashion editor of Harpers Bazaar, Diana Vreeland.

26. McQueen and I (2011)

Profile of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

27. Visionaries: Inside the Creative Mind “Tom Ford” (2011)

In this series the world’s top talent will take viewers inside their creative process, offering a rare opportunity to see how true masterminds bring their art to life. Academy Award(R)-winning director James Cameron; internationally renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, whose arresting work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and Vogue; Tom Ford, the fashion designer who breathed new energy into Gucci and is now enjoying newfound success as the director of the Academy Award-nominated film A Single Man; and, founding member of The Black Eyed Peas, Emmy(R)-winning actor, entrepreneur and seven-time Grammy Award-winning artist, will all appear in this one-hour weekly series.

28. Hermes: Hearts and Crafts (2011)

This documentary pays homage to the artisans of the numerous Hermès métiers.

29. L’amour fou (2010)

A documentary on the relationship between fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his lover, Pierre Berge.

30. Bill Cunningham New York (2010)

A profile of the noted and extraordinarily cheerful veteran New York City fashion photographer.

31. The September Issue (2009)

A documentary chronicling Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s preparations for the 2007 fall-fashion issue.

32. Valentino: The Last Emperor (2008)

A look at the life of legendary fashion designer Valentino.

33. Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton (2007)

From Japan to America, the LV sign dominates the fashion scene. And, one man alone designs the Louis Vuitton creations the exceptional Marc Jacobs.

34. Lagerfeld Confidential (2007)

An up-close-and-personal portrait of the fashion icon, Karl Lagerfeld.

35. The Secret World of Haute Couture (2007)

This 45 minute documentary, ‘The Secret World of Haute Couture’ explored the inside of the haute couture world. This is a completely different fashion world.

36. Viktor and Rolf: Because We’re Worth It! (2006)

At the end of the nineties, Viktor & Rolf broke into the international fashion world as innovative designers with their theatrical catwalk shows and avant-garde creations. Now they are ready to conquer the world with their own fashion house, their perfume ‘flowerbomb’, a matching catwalk collection, and new lines of glasses and shoes. The film Viktor & Rolf: “Because we’re worth it!” takes the viewer up close and personal with the Dutch fashion duo at this turning point in their career. Over the period of one year, documentary filmmaker Femke Wolting follows Viktor & Rolf every step of the way as they take on a new course. The film shows how they capture the flame of the international fashion world, not only thanks to their exceptional creative and conceptual talents, but also thanks to their unique collaboration that has lasted for over a decade.

37. Signé Chanel (2005)

A mini series showing the creation of a Haute Couture collection at iconic fashion house Chanel.

38. Seamless (2005)

A look at what it takes for young designers to make it in the fashion world.

39. Yves Saint Laurent: 5 avenue Marceau 75116 Paris (2002)

A 60 days ‘huis clos’ in the famous house of haute couture.

40. Notebook on Cities & Clothes (1989)

Wim Wenders talks with Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto about the creative process and ponders the relationship between cities, identity and the cinema in the digital age.