There’s no way around it: it looks like we’re all going to be spending a lot more time at home this month. While you might be packing up your best transitional stylings in favour of our comfiest ‘work from home’ outfits, we here at MB still have fashion on the brain, and we’re filling the retail-based hole in our hearts with the magic of the movies. Thankfully, if you’re as inspired by the world of fashion as we are, there’s plenty of documentary goodness out there to keep your eyes on the fashionable prize – hopefully in time to take that inspiration and utilise it in your end of year festivities (even if you only celebrate indoors). Without further ado, here’s our top five fashion documentary picks, available to watch in the UK right now.
One of the most acclaimed documentaries from 2018, BAFTA-nominated McQueen goes deep on the life and work of one Alexander McQueen (who's styling it out in our header image), the visionary British designer whose complicated, tragic life was always visible, and worth applauding, in his incomparable craftsmanship. Through exclusive interviews with his inner circle and stunning archive footage from his history of work, McQueen presents a thrilling, fascinating look at a truly mercurial force in the fashion world, and truly make you consider the cost of fame. Simply put: it’s a must-watch.
The First Monday In May
Where were we without The Met Gala this year? Formally known as the Costume Institute Gala, this annual fundraising ball for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York City is basically an excuse to see your favourite celebrities dressed up in glamorous outfits ranging from insane to inspired, and to complain about or celebrate them. The First Monday In May is all about how the event came together in 2015 for the gallery’s ‘China: Through The Looking Glass’ exhibition – long story short: a lot of planning – and is a must-see glimpse into the fashion and art world’s highest circles.
Yellow Is Forbidden
Speaking of the Met Gala, the woman behind Rihanna’s infamous ‘omelette dress’ from the 2015 ball featured in The First Monday In May gets a chance to tell her story in this slight yet intricate documentary exploring the ins and outs of Chinese haute couture. Designer Guo Pei’s eye for off-the-wall designs and dreams of expanding her brand beyond her homeland are captured quietly and thoughtfully by New Zealand documentarian Pietra Brettkelly, who follows her through the world of her creations. Despite her clothing’s bananas extravagance, and the ridiculous wealth of those who buy it, you can’t help but admire Pei’s craftsmanship.
The True Cost
Put simply, The True Cost is a story about how clothes are made. More specifically, it’s about ‘fast fashion’ – the masses of high street retailers that churn out masses of clothing to the detriment of our wardrobes, our environment, and the lives of those who make it. We here at MB encourage thoughtful shopping and pieces that’ll last, and this documentary will certainly do the same: it’s a ground-breaking and often sobering study of fashion consumption that’ll really make you think about what and where you buy.
The Remix: Hip Hop x Fashion
More often than you’d like to think, the world of fashion can be whitewashed – literally. The Remix chronicles and celebrates the influence of Black female talent in turning urban fashion into a global success, suggesting that many of the trends we take for granted were being infused into culture through rap and hip-hop long before they were picked up and appropriated by prestige fashion houses and high street chains. By focusing on the stories of stylist and ‘fashion architect’ Misa Hilton and streetwear designer April Walker, this doc manages to tell a tale spanning decades of fashion history that’s inspiring, frustrating, and revelatory, all at once.
Enjoyed watching any of these docs? Got one you’d like to recommend to us? Come and find us on social media and let us know, and keep an eye on our blog for more recs in future!