5 Fashion Documentaries to Watch

There are a multitude of things that I do in order to relax, but one that I particularly enjoy is settling down on a nice fluffy couch with Elliott, chocolate bar in one hand, glass of wine in the other, and watching an interesting documentary. Here are my top five relating to the fashion industry in no particular order.

The True Cost: You’ve probably heard about this documentary by now. Released in 2015, this is one of the most influential films in the conscious fashion world. The documentary is shot all over the world, and discusses the cost of clothing beyond simple monetary means but also looks at what it means in human and environmental costs. It explores the lives of low-wage workers in the garment industry, as well as examines the of pollution and pesticide contamination that is a result of the production of fast fashion. Overall, this film provides with some interesting commentary on consumerism, mass media, and the impact of global capitalism.

Dior and I: Dior and I is a 2014 film that follows designer Raf Simons as he creates his first haute couture collection for Christian Dior S.A. It opens up the behind-the-scenes world of high fashion design to the viewer and explores the work it takes to create legendary elegance. The focus is on Simons as he balances the classic traditions of the influential house but also implements his own designs to provide for a modern  narration.

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price: Made in 2005, this film examines the business practices of Walmart through the combination of interviews, footage, and given statistics. Greenwald argues that Walmart operates with sketchy and unethical practices, focusing particularly on worker’s rights and environmental policy. This documentary presents a compelling argument against the practices of big business and corporate retailers.

Fresh Dressed: Fresh Dressed, created in 2015, chronicles the history of hip hop clothing and urban fashion as it dominates mainstream culture. It deep dives into the roots of southern plantations and black church culture, exploring the historical past as well as tying in modern interviews from individuals who have had a crucial part in forming the evolution of this style. This documentary is a passionate telling of how originality and self expression overtook trying economic circumstances.

Paris is Burning: An older film, and known to be culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant, Paris is Burning was created in 1990 and documents the ball culture of New York City in the 1980s. It explores the concepts of race, class, gender, and sexuality in America, especially as it applies to the queer minority, and offers thoughtful insight on how that scene has had an impact on modern culture today.

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