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There’s just something delightful about watching movies imbued with fashion’s glamour and chicness (and bitchiness), but there’s only so many times you can rewatch The Devil Wears Prada. Varsity’s Fashion Editors have compiled a list of films and documentaries that are perfect for you to pop on one summer evening and revel in the spectacle of fashion. 

Unzipped (1995) 

Anna’s absolute favourite. Filmed by his boyfriend at the time in elegant black-and-white, Unzipped documents American designer Isaac Mizrahi’s process of creating his fall 1994 collection. This makes it so sentimental and personal, tender and suffused with the gaze of love. We see Mizrahi’s elated moments of inspiration, musings about fashion, hilarious quips, and behind-the-scenes frustrations and mundanities. Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Kate Moss all make charismatic appearances. It’s incredibly beautifully made and makes you fall in love with beauty all over again. 


Phantom Thread (2017) 

A masterpiece, for when you want something darker and more serious. In 1950s London, Reynolds Woodcock (yes, that’s his name) makes sumptuous gowns for the upper class amidst the emergence of newer fashionable styles. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the film tells the story of an haute couture dressmaker taking a young waitress as his wife and muse. It’s an evocative story of love and control, mushrooms and couture. 

Dior and I (2014) 

A documentary following one of the most important designers of our era in a crucial juncture of his career. Raf Simons joins Dior as creative director and takes on his debut season at the maison. It’s fascinating to observe the painstaking process of making haute couture (completely hand-constructed made-to-order garments involving high level techniques), and how the designer collaborates with his team to shape a vision and interpret the legacy of Christian Dior. You fall in love with the seamstresses in the atelier. Oh, and the flowers. You’ll know once you watch the film. 


House of Gucci (2021) 

It’s slick, it’s secretive, it’s sexy—it’s the incredible story of the rise and fall of the Gucci family. Centred on the fierce ambition of Patrizia Reggiani when she marries the coy Maurizio, heir to the Gucci fortune, it’s a film full of iconic fashion moments, both accurate and fictional alike. From Patrizia’s snow-white chinchilla headband and the elegant sweetness of her wedding dress, to the raunchy, ostentatious 80s party-wear and a brilliant recreation of Tom Ford’s renowned Fall/Winter 1995 ready-to-wear collection, House of Gucci is a brilliant choice if you’re looking for a fashion history lesson, polished off with a dramatic touch of enviable seduction and glamour. 

Marie Antoinette (2006) 


Mountain View

Historical accuracy vs creative liberty: an analysis of Little Women’s costume design

One of Kasia’s all-time favourite fashion movies from the 2000s, Sofia Coppola’s biopic of one of the most infamous women in history beautifully highlights the intrinsic connection between fashion, film, and feeling. A saccharine explosion of decadent pastel colour palettes, lace, satin and silk highlights the culture of indulgence spread by those who lived in the court of Louis XVI before the Revolution. Still, there’s a touching effort to emphasise Marie’s youth and teenage naivety alongside her position as the indulgent queen. There’s a quick shot, for instance, where Coppola shows a pair of beat-up Converse in the background of where Marie is struggling to fit into a pair of gaudy (though historically accurate) satin heels—she was, after all, just a kid. A film of beautiful juxtapositions, it’s a must-watch for every fashion lover out there.