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These 11 fashion films have substance AND style

BY Anna Walker

1st Jan 2015 Film & TV

These 11 fashion films have substance AND style

Whether you’re a fashionista or a fashion victim, you can’t deny there’s something fascinating about the world of style. These films take audiences on a journey through the world of luxury clothing, telling the stories of models, journalists, designers, catwalks and everything in between.

Prepare to meet a style icon in her 90s, a male model who can’t turn left and the world’s most privileged pugs…


11. Pret a Porter

Sex. Greed. Murder. Some things never go out of style.

This Robert Altman comedy features Sophia Loren, Rupert Everett, Julia Roberts, Tim Robbins, Kim Basinger, Forest Whitaker, Richard E Grant, Lauren Bacall and Tracey Ullman as well as cameos from Bjork, Cher, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Carla Bruni to name just a few. If it’s bonafide fashion stars you want, Pret a Porter is certainly top dog.
Buy the DVD


10. Cover Girl

Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly lead the cast in this Oscar winning musical romp about a chorus girl who gains a taste of stardom when she’s offered a job as a  cover girl.

Fun fact: in the above show and dance number, Gene Kelly and 19 year-old co-choreographer Stanley Donan were so appalled at the sloppy footwork that they inserted three last minute reaction shots of Kelly in the wings, so that no one would think the mistakes were real!

Hayworth was exquisitely happy throughout filming, and it was soon revealed why when she eloped with the love of her life Orson Welles just a day after the film wrapped.


9. Dior And I

Bringing audiences into the strictly tailored world of the Christian Dior fashion house, this compelling behind-the-scenes look at the work of creative director Raf Simons celebrates every aspect of the creative process.

From the intricate work of his seamstresses, to the models and the designer himself, you'll come away with a better understanding of the work involved in transforming an idea to garment to runway.
Buy the DVD



8. Iris

Iris Apfel was probably the first woman to wear jeans. With over 75 years influence in the fashion world, the 93 year-old style maven says the process of getting dressed is similar to playing jazz.

Having designed for homes as high profile as the White House, where she worked for nine Presidents, Iris claims she never judges the wardrobes of others, because “it’s better to be happy than well dressed”. 
Buy the DVD


7. Valentino: The Last Emperor

Valentino Garavani is one of the most famous designers of all time. This fly-on-the-wall documentary tells the story of his life and illustrious career and explores the larger themes affecting the fashion industry today. Look out for Valentino's family of pugs, Molly, Margot, Maude, Maggie, Monty and Milton who travel with him wherever he goes.

With unprecedented access to Valentino and his longtime partner Giancarlo Giammetti, The Last Emperor is an intimate portrait of the longest running partnership in fashion.
Buy the DVD


6. Coco Before Chanel

The eternally chic Audrey Tatou is perfectly cast in this Coco Chanel biopic. A romantic encounter with a charismatic Belgian Baron soon grants the orphaned Chanel entry into French high society, allowing her to develop her gift for hat making. 

When she falls in love with an Englishman her business flourishes, though a stormier future is just around the corner… This couture caper is every bit as elegant as its covetable costumes.
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5. Blow Up

A fashion photographer (David Hemmings) is convinced that he has accidentally captured a murder on film when he notices a dead body and gunman lurking in the background of one of his photographs.

Also starring Vanessa Redgrave, the film was described as “as important and germinal a film as Citizen Kane, Open City and Hiroshima, Mon Amour – perhaps even more so” by Playboy magazine. Endorsements don’t come much more glowing than that! 
Buy the DVD 


4. Zoolander

“Did you ever think there’s more to life than being really, really, really ridiculously good looking?”

So begins the plight of Derek Zoolander, the world’s most vainest male model, as he sets out on a journey to discover who he really is. Unbeknonst to him, he’s actually being subconsciously trained to assassinate the president of Malaysia.

Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell, Milla Jovovich and cameos that read like a who’s who of noughties show business, this satirical send up of the fashion industry is truly hilarious.


3. The Devil Wears Prada

Allegedly based on experiences author Lauren Weisberger had as the assistant to Vogue editor Anna Wintour, The Devil Wears Prada charts the efforts of an aspiring journalist (Anne Hathaway) who lands a job at Runway magazine despite finding fashion ‘shallow’. Using real designer clothes throughout it became the most expensively costumed film in history.

Despite many in the fashion industry refusing to appear in the film, for fear of offending the all-powerful Anna Wintour, she surprised everyone by personally attended the premiere. Wearing Prada. Of course.
Buy the DVD


2. The September Issue

Billed as the real version of The Devil Wears Prada, this fascinating documentary follows notorious Vogue editor Anna Wintour as she oversees the creation of the September 2007 issue of the magazine.

Weighing in at an incredible five pounds, it was the largest single issue of a magazine ever published.
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1. Funny Face

When it comes to style, there are few more elegant than Audrey Hepburn, and sashaying into the top spot is her unforgettable (catwalk) turn in Funny Face.

An intellectual bookshop worker finds herself unexpectedly scouted by a major modeling agency. Learning tricks of the trade from photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astarie), she soon finds herself gallivanting around Paris, culminating that famous dancing scene… An indisputable classic.
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