Must-See Fashion Documentaries
Fashion has been known as an ever-changing industry, however the last five years have seen a significant disruption in the system. It is becoming clear to more and more people that the stylish clothing we’ve longed for is often polluting our earth, taking advantage of the vulnerable, and lacking in creativity. These five documentaries are lifting the curtain on the fashion industry and encouraging us to push for a system which does not harm.
1. The True Cost
For many, this is the movie that started them on a journey to fighting for fair fashion. In 2015, director Andrew Morgan and producer Michael Ross released a film which exposed the dark side of the fashion industry. We all knew there were some bad practices that occurred during clothing production but most were unaware of the scale and intensity of the issues. The fashion industry has capitalized on cheap labor, harsh chemicals, and aggressive advertising to sell things no one needs. Watching this film will help you to see why the conscious fashion movement was born.
If you’re looking for another revealing film about the manufacturing side of the fashion industry, this one’s for you. The team travelled around the globe to several rivers being directly affected by the clothes we wear. Mark Angelo, an international river conservationist, is followed throughout the movie as he discovers the incredible damage that fashion is causing to these bodies of water and their surrounding residents. Watching this film will help you to see how connected we all are and why we must care for each other, even from afar.
3. Picture Me: A Model’s Diary
This documentary follows model Sara Ziff as she navigates the fashion industry. With recent discussions around the #MeToo movement, this 2011 film feels incredibly relevant. Ziff and co-director Ole Schell dive headfirst into all of the topics that had been left out of public conversation for so long; sexual harassment, drug use, eating disorders etc. Through intimate interviews and personal footage, this film gives a rare look behind fashion show productions. Watching this movie will open your eyes to the lives of those who are “often seen but rarely heard”.
4. Advanced Style
Through his fond relationship with his late grandmother, Ari Seth Cohen developed a fascination with fashion lovers in their later years. He started a project to document these senior fashionistas and creative stylers because he saw a lack of representation in mainstream media. A blog, book, and now documentary have all come out of this original project and established a community of women who are “living life to the fullest.” Watching this film will inspire you to throw out the rulebook and question the norms we have accepted in fashion.
5. The Next Black
After some heartbreaking news, incredible insights, and exciting perspectives, you might be asking yourself "well, what’s next?" This film interviews the future movers and shakers of the fashion industry. Designers, innovators, and leaders within the world of clothes discuss possible solutions and new ideas that can change the industry for the better. Household names and first-time fashion members come together to give a hopeful look at the future of fashion. Watching this documentary will light a fire in you to be part of the solution.
Audrey Stanton was born and raised in the Bay Area and is currently based in Los Angeles. She works as a freelance writer and has an exciting venture of her own in the works! Audrey is deeply passionate about conscious fashion and hopes to continue to spread awareness of ethical consumption.