New York Fashion Week opened earlier this week, and we’re celebrating with a list of essential fashion documentaries that go behind the scenes of the industry. Legendary designers, the business of modeling, and Fashion Week itself are all explored in these insider docs covering the catwalks of Italy and Paris, art galleries during the 1980s, and the streets of New York City on an old Schwinn with camera in hand. Feel free to add to add your own picks, below.
Wim Wenders directed Notebook on Cities and Clothes shortly after his modern fairy tale, Wings of Desire, was released. The director pondered the nature of art, fashion, identity, and the creative process with Yohji Yamamoto in the 1989 doc. The masterful fashion designer is as quietly elegant as his work. Wenders fills his silences with poetic and philosophical commentary as Yamamoto prepares for a show in Paris. Wenders’ work relies strongly on a sense of place, so meditations on Paris and Tokyo are a welcome addition to the conversation.