Last Updated: February 6th
If The Met Ball is your Christmas and you just can’t get enough of fashion week, then your idea of a nice evening at home — when there’s no runway being walked — likely includes a trip into Netflix’s warehouse of fashion docs. But what should you watch? And, if you’re new to couture (but definitely a fan), where’s a good place to start?
We’ve got you covered! Here are the best fashion documentaries on Netflix streaming right now!
Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer
Jeremy Scott may be the creative director of Moschino now, but he didn’t start out that way. This documentary follows Scott’s trajectory from small-town farm boy who just couldn’t (and didn’t want to) fit in, as he morphs into a fashion juggernaut who’s loved by celebrities — Katy Perry, Devon Aoki, Lady Gaga are among the film’s cavalcade of stars — although critics are another story. Want to get into fashion but don’t know if just anyone can break in? This story will inspire you. (Send us some free clothes if you get famous.)
The True Cost
Fashion’s true cost isn’t always in the price you pay for your garments. This film explores the industry by asking who really pays for the clothes that you’re wearing and the answer may not be something you want to hear. Documenting the toll that fast fashion takes on the environment and the workers who produce your clothes. Don’t know how your clothes came to be? This film will shed a chilling light on the premium society truly pays on materialism.
This doc charts the journey of hip-hop fashion and how it went from the streets, to the runways, and then to your local shopping mall. Featuring appearances by some of hip-hop’s most notable talents (Kanye, Pharrell, Swizz Beats), this film explores what it really means to be “fresh,” why, as Yeezy points out, it’s more important than having money, and how that philosophy has turned into a multi-billion dollar business.
A sneakerhead, according to this fascinating 2015 doc, is someone from whom footwear isn’t just piece of apparel but a bonafide obsession. From people who spend all their money on sneakers to those who don’t have room in their home for anything but shoes (Carmelo Anthony has more than 1,000 pairs), this movie explains how footwear can be life-changing and why it’s one of the truest forms of self-expression.
Paris Is Burning
It’s difficult to describe Paris Is Burning. Though not strictly a meditation on fashion, this film will introduce you to ‘ball culture,’ an LGBT subculture in which couture features prominently. Following gay men and transgender women as they prepare for and participate in balls — events in which contestants walk and vogue for the respect and admiration of their community — this doc chronicles the lives of a diverse cast of African-American and Latinx individuals as they struggle to get by, make their mark, and create their own families and culture in a world that’s often cruel, racist, and unforgiving to those who are different.
If you don’t know Iris Apfel by name, then you definitely recognize her from her wild looks and distinctive glasses. This documentary — by iconic director Albert Maysles — offers a glimpse into the 96-year-old fashion legend’s life, exploring her philosophy, her day-to-day (shopping for dresses, mentoring models), and the profound impact she’s had on the fashion world for over 75 years.
If you want a movie that will make you both feel woefully inadequate and like you can do anything at the same time, this is it.
See also: Mexico Diseña