Filming Fashion

May 1, 2010 • Magazine

Filming Fashion

Filming Fashion

Mon, 2000-05-01 09:00

Update your Netflix queue with some of the best fashion-centric flicks to hit the big screen.

Amanda Aldinger

As deep as my undying love for fashion goes, I love films just as much. I’m not particularly elitist about it – my penchant for all things Bruce Willis is well known amongst my friends. And although I love anything involving the film festival circuit, I can just as easily watch B-list horror films and Lifetime movies on repeat at any time. But some of my favorite films are those about fashion, and I’m not just talking The Devil Wears Prada. I think it’s essential to be a culturally well-rounded individual, and for as much as we read about our favorite fashion personalities, there’s something special about seeing their lives played out on camera and fashioned for the big screen. Over the winter, I sought to expand your fashionable library, and now, as the seasons are changing, get ready to queue it up with the Top 5 Must-See Fashion Films – perfect for cocktail and hors d’oeuvres nights with your friends, or just for you, and a bottle of vino. 

1. Lagerfeld Confidential - A bizarre wunderkind of a genius, there is perhaps nothing better than watching Karl Lagerfeld unabashedly move about his home (the opening scene of which showcases a fireplace mantle lined with docked iPods of various colors and styles) and life with the grandiosity to which he is so accustomed. Lagerfeld’s influence on the fashion world is one of the most profound in the history of the industry – to hear him discuss his work, and mingle with fashion’s most sensational key players is like a dream come true. Functioning like an extended interview, the film is filled to the brim with Lagerfeld’s extraordinary tales about his life (including his slave-driving mother and belief in prostitution). Not to mention the fact that he’s completely absurd – it’s nice to put all of his inane quotables into a visual context. Without question, a must-see. 

2. Prêt-à-Porter. A satirical black comedy, directed by Robert Altman and taking place during Fashion Week in Paris, Prêt-à-Porter is a cameo-filled spectacular that any die-hard fashion lover will adore. Featuring Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Sophia Lauren, Julia Roberts, Lauren Bacall, Cher, Tim Robbins and loads of other high profile personalities, Prêt-à-Porter is a highly complicated, glorious spectacular that follows two reporters investigating a murder at Paris Fashion Week. Outrageous and fun, Altman’s film is a wonderful reminder that we don’t always need to take our industry so seriously. 

3. Paris is Burning. This seminal documentary explores the the Ball culture of 1990s New York City, and the gay, transgendered and Latino people involved in this community. The film specifically explores Ball competitions, during which contestants are expected to “walk” – similar to a runway show – in events that are often themed. Controversial in its depiction of racism, homosexuality, AIDs and poverty, the film also highlights “voguing,” a mainstream dance phenomenon that was developed within this culture. An explosion of dance, extreme personalities, and an underground culture directly influenced by the mainstream fashion world, Paris is Burning is a brilliant film for anyone looking to explore fashion and culture an in-depth and subversive level. 

4. Yves Saint Laurent: His Life and Times. Now, if you know anything about me, you’ll know that my admiration, and loving regard for YSL exceeds my love for most things. There is no better way to experience the fashion world than through the eyes of the designer who put pants on women and fashion in mainstream society. Featuring YSL, and interviews with Pierre Berge, his manager and lover; and Betty Catroux and Loulou De La Falaise, two of YSL’s most prominent muses, this is a film that deeply explores one of the greatest designers of all time, and the heart and soul he put into creating his collections. It’s nearly impossible not to fall in love with him. 

5. Funny Face. How can you go wrong with Fred Astaire, Audrey Hepburn…and fashion? A 1950s musical costumed in the classic, unbearably chic fashions of the time, Funny Face follows one fashion editor’s search for the next big trend. A confluence of events take them to Paris, where magic always happens, and dreams never fail to come true. A fun-natured feel-good film, Funny Face is a wonderful treat for the fashion lover who doesn’t mind a little song and dance in her life.
1. Lagerfeld Confidential,
2. Prêt-à-Porter,
3. Paris is Burning,
4. Yves Saint Laurent: His Life and Times,
5. Funny Face,

Image Layout: Tiffany Carlin

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