Seven of the best Netflix fashion documentaries you can stream to get into the mood for Cannes
Subjects include Elite Model founder John Casablancas, shoemakers Steve Madden and Manolo Blahnik, sneaker addicts, 96-year-old fashion queen Iris Apfel and Italian Vogue’s Franca Sozzani
The relationship between fashion and film is one of history’s greatest love stories. And thanks to Netflix, we can get our fix of great documentaries covering the fashion industry when and where we want.
With the annual Cannes Film Festival getting under way today (May 8) we take a look at some of the best fashion-related films you can stream. Click on the title to see the trailer.
The rise, fall and rise of footwear designer Steve Madden is portrayed in this film, which also recounts how he rebuilt his life after being imprisoned following his involvement with the infamous Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort. Ambition, drugs, prison … what’s not to love?
A portrait of legendary shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, the name linked with whimsical yet elegant heels and, of course, Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw. Little is known about the camera-shy man behind the brand, and this film lifts the lid, showing never-before-seen footage and featuring a string of impressive cameos from the fashion and entertainment industries (including Anna Wintour, Rihanna, Naomi Campbell, Rupert Everett).
This film takes a fun romp through the life of Elite Model Management founder John Casablancas, showing one-on-one interview backed by personal archives, TV clips and fashion spreads.
Casablancas was born into money and had no issues showing how to spend it as he turned the world of modelling, beginning in the mid-1960s, into a star-driven enterprise that made beautiful women into rich and famous celebrities.
Franca: Chaos & Creation (2016)
Director Francesco Carrozzini has made an intimate portrait of his mother, Franca Sozzani, who was the editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue for almost three decades, highlighting her incredible influence on fashion editorials while exploring their mother-and-son relationship.
Sneakers … athletes wear them. Rappers wear them. And those who have a lot of them are called sneakerheads. This documentary delves into their world. One interviewee only half-jokingly defines a sneakerhead as a fanatic “who will forgo paying the rent to buy a shoe they will never wear.”
The True Cost (2015)
Exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet, this film looks at the links between consumer pressure for low-cost high fashion and the meagre existences of the sweatshop workers who make those goods.
This documentary looks into the colourful life of, now 96-year-old, New York fashion maven and former textile trader, Iris Apfel. A large segment of the film documents her shopping habits (Apfel loves trawling flea markets and last year on a visit to Hong Kong she snapped up 10 pairs of handmade shoes while on a visit to Jordan). Some of the best footage is when she interacts with her husband, Carl Apfel (whose 100th birthday is captured in the documentary).