Iconic Fashion Movies from Satire to Documentary
Fashion has long been a source of cinematic inspiration, from behind-the-scenes documentaries on iconic fashion designers to satiric takes on the industry. Movies about fashion have made billions at the box office, spawned sequels and become surprise hit and cult classics. Here are 7 of the best:
1. The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada was a surprise 2006 hit comedy-drama starring Anne Hathaway as a college graduate who lands a job as co-assistant to powerful fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep. Streep’s character is widely credited as based on American Vogue editor Anna Wintour, with her performance as the demanding fashion mag boss receiving critical acclaim and earning her many award nominations, including her record-setting 14th Oscar bid. The film grossed more than $300 million internationally and with many fashion designers allowing their clothes and accessories to be used in it, it became the most expensively costumed film in history.
2. The September Issue
The September Issue is a 2009 documentary film about the behind-the-scenes drama that follows Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and her staff during the production of the September 2007 issue of American Vogue magazine. The September issue of Vogue is traditionally the biggest and most important of the year and is a marathon effort, in no small way made possible by former model-turned-creative-director Grace Coddington. The film features appearances by many well-known and influential people in the fashion industry including John Galliano, Oscar de la Renta, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Vera Wang, Coco Rocha, Raquel Zimmerman, Sienna Miller, Chanel Iman and Lily Cole.
Satirical comedy Zoolander, starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell has achieved cult status since its release in 2001. Featuring nice-but-dim male model Derek Zoolander, played by Stiller, the film involves Zoolander becoming the pawn of corrupt fashion executives in order to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia. A satire on the fashion industry in general, this fashion film spawned phrases (and looks) such as “Blue Steel” and “I know what a Eugoogly is”. The sequel Zoolander No. 2, is scheduled for release in February 2016.
4. Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s
From humble beginnings as a ladies dress store in 1901, famous New York department store Bergdorf Goodman is now regarded as one of the most prestigious luxury goods stores in the world.
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s is a 2013 documentary feature directed by Matthew Miele about the Fifth Avenue store and features a wide array of celebrities, employees, designers and customers proclaiming their love for ‘BG’, as well as sneak peeks beyond the shop floor and untold stories from its 110+ year history. Tom Ford, Diane von Fürstenberg, Vera Wang, Manolo Blahnik, Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors all pop up to testify about Bergdorf’s inexorable attraction.
Prêt-à-Porter (or ‘Ready to Wear’ as it was called in the US) is a 1994 satirical comedy co-written, directed, and produced by film legend Robert Altman and shot on location in Paris. Featuring an all-star cast of actors, models and designers, it’s a clever take on the fashion world, including a final scene of naked models walking the catwalk in a literal interpretation of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Sophia Loren, Rupert Everett, Julia Roberts, Tim Robbins, Kim Basinger, Forest Whitaker, Richard E. Grant and Lauren Bacall all star, as well as Björk, Cher, Helena Christensen, David Copperfield, Thierry Mugler, Claudia Schiffer and Christy Turlington, who play themselves.
Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2009 mockumentary Brüno follows gay Austrian fashion journalist Brüno Gerhard after he is fired from his own television show, Funkyzeit mit Brüno (Funkytime with Brüno) for disrupting a Milan Fashion week catwalk. Brüno heads to America and in true Baron Cohen style (following previous films Ali G Indahouse and Borat), is let loose on an unsuspecting US public as he seeks fame in the country. Crude, offensive yet culturally on-point and at times very funny, Brüno pulls no punches as you’d expect.
7. Coco before Chanel
Depicting the early life of famous French fashion designer Coco Chanel, Audrey Tautou stars as
Chanel in this 2009 film, as she rises from obscure beginnings to the heights of the fashion world. As you might expect of such a high profile biopic, Coco Before Chanel was nominated for four BAFTA Awards, three European Film Awards, six César Awards and the Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
What is your favourite fashion movie and who do you think has more style? Whether you consider yourself a Coco Chanel or more of a Derek Zoolander we can provide you with a tailor made shirt to your exact specification, so you can be the star.
Film reel image courtesy of digitalart via freedigitalphotos.net