If you are a fashion designer, a fashion entrepreneur or just a fashion addict, watching a great fashion movies, tv shows, animes or documentaries is a great way to relax.
Who doesn’t like to Netflix & Chill? (or Amazon Prime & Chill ? There are so many platforms nowadays !)
Not only does it help you relax but it can also give you some inspiration for your future projects and ambitions. That’s how it always worked for me.
Must-See Fashion Movies
Not feeling good? Need some inspiration? Plug in some good fashion movies and you’re good to go!
The Devil wears Prada (2006)
Is there even a need for me to present this movie ? It’s probably one of the most iconic movies on fashion, revealing the behind the scenes of this glamorous, yet dark, industry.
Andrea “Andy” Sachs is an aspiring journalist fresh out of Northwestern University. Despite her ridicule for the shallowness of the fashion industry, she lands a job as junior personal assistant to Miranda Priestly, the editor-in-chief of Runway magazine, a job that “millions of girls would kill for”.
Andy plans to put up with Miranda’s excessive demands and humiliating treatment for one year in the hopes of getting a job as a reporter or writer somewhere else.
The Dressmaker (2015)
The Dressmaker is the story of Tilly Dunnage, a very talented dressmaker who decides to go back to her hometown in Australia and set up a tailor shop. With her haute couture experience and her sewing machine, she brings a wave of changes in this countryside place.
However, her come back seems to hide some ulterior motives.
Tilly is played by Kate Winslet and the dresses she makes in the movie are just gorgeous.
Yves Saint-Laurent (2014)
Yves Saint Laurent is a 2014 French biographical drama film directed by Jalil Lespert. The film is based on the life of Yves Saint Laurent from 1958 and stars famous French actors like Pierre Niney, Guillaume Gallienne or Charlotte Le Bon.
The movie brings us back to when Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé were promoting the French fashion industry. It’s centered on Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé’s relationships and shows how they stayed friends against all odds.
Interesting fact: this movie received Pierre Bergé’s “official approval” and support.
Saint-Laurent was released at almost the same time as the previous movie I presented. Contrary to Yves-Saint Laurent, this movie is more focused on the fashion designer’s career.
It brings us back to the 1967-1976 period, which was one of the darkest period of his professionnal and personal life.
The movie director was not interested in showing how he bacame a fashion genius. Instead, he wanted to portray what impact fame had on his life and how much it costed him to stay up to people’s expectations.
Coco before chanel (2009)
Coco before Chanel is a 2009 biographical drama film directed and co-written by Anne Fontaine. The film stars Audrey Tautou and details the early life of French fashion designer Coco Chanel before her international success.
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009)
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky is a 2009 French romantic drama film directed by Jan Kounen. The movie is based on the 2002 fictional novel, Coco and Igor, by Chris Greenhalgh and traces a rumoured affair between Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky in Paris in 1920, the year that Chanel No. 5 was created.
The Neon Demon (2016)
An aspiring model, Jesse, is new to Los Angeles. However, her beauty and youth, which generate intense fascination and jealousy within the fashion industry, may prove themselves sinister.
Phantom Thread (2017)
Set in 1950s London, Reynolds Woodcock is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who becomes his muse and lover.
Desert Flower (2009)
The film follows the journey of Waris Dirie (played by Liya Kebede). From a nomadic pastoralist background in Somalia becomes a famous fashion model in the west. Beyond the fashion story, the movie shows her own fight against female genital mutilation that she suffered from in her youth.
It’s a true story and is based on fashion model Waris Dirie’s autobiography.
Sex and the city, the movie (2008)
The movie Sex and the city is a continuation of the 1998–2004 television series about four friends, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte York Goldenblatt (Kristin Davis), and Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon), and their lives as women in New York City.
At the end of his career, a clueless fashion model is brainwashed to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Personal Shopper (2016)
Personal Shopper is a 2016 supernatural psychological thriller film written and directed by Olivier Assayas. The film stars Kristen Stewart as a young American woman in Paris who works as a personal shopper for a celebrity and tries to communicate with her deceased twin brother.
Ready to wear (1994)
At the world’s hottest fashion show, there’s been a murder and now everyone’s a suspect. If you’ve got something to hide, you’ll need something to wear.
I haven’t seen it yet but the cast seems to be composed of very famous actresses and actors.
La Vérité si je mens (1997)
In Paris, Eddie Vuibert (Richard Anconina) is an unemployed man in financial difficulty. A rich Jewish cloth manufacturer takes Eddie into his corporation out of pity because he mistakenly believes him to be Jewish as well.
Eddie rapidly integrates in the Parisian Jewish textile community and rises as a sales manager. He continues his masquerade of pretending to be Ashkenazi Jew in order to woo his boss’s daughter.
Confessions of a Shopaholic
Confessions of a Shopaholic is a 2009 American romantic comedy film based on the first two entries in the Shopaholic series of novels by Sophie Kinsella.
Struggling with her debilitating obsession with shopping and the sudden collapse of her income source, Rebecca Bloomwood (Isla Fisher) unintentionally lands a job writing for a financial magazine after a drunken letter-mailing mix-up.
Ironically writing about the consumer caution of which she has not abided, Rebecca’s innovative comparisons and unconventional metaphors for economics grants her critical acclaim, public success, and the admiration of her supportive boss Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy).
But as she draws closer to her ultimate goal of writing for renowned fashion magazine Alette, she questions her true ambitions and must determine if overcoming her “shopaholic” condition will bring her real happiness.
Atelier is a Japanese series, sponsored and broadcast by Netflix. This 13-episode series follows the start of the career of Mayuko Tokita, a young graduate who has just been hired in Elegance, a prestigious lingerie house.
I loved the series because you see Mayuko evolve and mature throughout the series. At the very beginning, she really struggles to find her place, but towards the end, she really takes her duties to heart and conducts everything with great professionalism. We also discover how a small workshop works. We go through the hardships of organizing a parade along with them and we have a short breath when everything goes according to plan.
It’s a real feel good series that makes you want to get moving and immerse yourself in your fashion sketches!
One Tree Hill – After Season 3
One Tree Hill is the story of two half-brothers raised by their respective mothers who end up in the same high school. Classic love and friendship stories follow, as in all teenage series.
What interests us, however, is that from season 3, we start to see the emergence of a future successful fashion designer,
Brooke Davis, who is one of the central characters in the series, also has an undeniable talent for fashion. One evening, she decides she has better things to do than moan for boys and works on a fashion label, her fashion label which she called “Clothes over bros”.
Over the seasons, we see it spinning with success. It is out of stock as soon as its site is online, it is noticed by the big names in fashion …
Around season 5, she managed to make Clothes over Bro a true fashion empire.
I loved seeing this rise to success. It reminds us that when you believe in your passion, anything can happen. However, we also discover the underside of the fashion world which is not always very shiny. It’s a good booster shot that helps keep your head cool.
This series gives a real punch. It is also an adaptation of the autobiographical book of the same name by Sophia Amoruso, a successful American entrepreneur.
His company Nasty Gal was even named in 2012 among the high growth companies. In 2016, Forbes even named her as one of the richest “self-made women” in the world. Since then, she has gone bankrupt and lost her fortune, but she has still rubbed shoulders with the summits.
In the series, Sophia sees green ones and not ripe ones but whatever happens, she does not give up and is determined to succeed!
Verliebt in Berlin (In Love with Berlin/Le Destin de Lisa) & Ugly Betty
Verliebt in Berlin is a German Comedy Drama that might remind you a bit of “The Devil Wears Prada”.
Elisabeth “Lisa” Plenske is a 24 year old girl, full of goodwill and good will. She has just successfully completed her studies and is looking for a job as an executive assistant. She gets a job appointment with the highly regarded fashion house, Kerima Moda. But because of her old-fashioned look and sloppy physique, Lisa didn’t get the job. Naive, however, she accepts a job in the company cafeteria until she finds something better.
But a series of circumstances will lead him to save David, the boss of the company, from drowning. He will then give him the post of executive assistant.
Then begins his fight to survive in the ruthless and superficial jungle of the world of fashion. To add another layer, she falls in love with her boss, already engaged to a beauty canon.
Lisa’s Fate is the German version. And Ugly Betty is the American version. The latter traces more or less the same story.
The Collection is a Franco-British co-production of 8 episodes. In post-war France, The Collection tells the story of the creation of Maison Sabine by two brothers: Paul, a businessman and Claude, a brilliant and crazy designer. During a meeting with a member of the President’s cabinet, Paul was entrusted with the mission of remaking Paris the fashion capital, then threatened by New York designers.
Through this family drama, we can see the work of little hands in the workshops and clothing as romantic as feminine.
This latest series is not strictly speaking about fashion itself. Indeed, it tells in a fictionalized way the life of Mrs. CJ Walker who started a company of hair care products for women of color. Ms. CJ Walker was also the first female millionaire entrepreneur in the United States.
But we include it anyway because beauty is also in a way a part of fashion.
What is fantastic about this series is to see the force with which this woman has shown to move forward in this America in the racist and misogynistic era. All is not rosy and she faces many challenges. But, she is a tenacious, creative and full of conviction woman. Through her products, it is an ideal world that she sells and it is a great lesson in entrepreneurship that we take.
The series is just 4 episodes of an hour long so check it out. It is worth it.
Emily in Paris
Emily in Paris is netflix TV show released in 2020. In the series, Emily is a young American Marketing Specialist who got transferred to the Parisian creative agency, Savoir, her company just acquired. Her job is to facilitate the fusion between the 2 companies and bring the American perspective and techniques to the French agency.
Savoir is a traditional agency whose clients are all in the luxury/ beauty and fashion industry. Of course, all the brands that are mentioned in the TV Show are all fictional.
Emily in Paris tells a pretty romanticized and almost caricatural overview of the marketing & promotional work behind a fashion and beauty brand (and of Paris – but this is another discussion). Yet, it’s a nice feel good tv show when you feel down, want to laugh or not think about anything,
The Queen’s Gambit
While The Queen’s Gambit is not directly about the fashion industry, the main character is so fashionable that I had to include this TV show in this list. As a matter of fact, Elizabeth harmon is a woman who truly loves fashion and her outfits are in tune with her mindset evolution and the era she is in.
I actually did a complete costume analysis of the series a while ago. If you loved The Queen’s Gambit or just fashion or movie in general, do check it out !
Bridgerton is a Netflix romance period drama about the love and the life of the children of the Bridgerton family. Again, this is not a tv show about the fashion industry. But, the costumes are so amazing and beautiful that it let a surge in sales of 19th styled clothes (empire styled dress, body-sculting undergarments, regency accessories…)
You might be bored if you are not into romance tv shows but it’s worth watching, at least for the costumes.
Sex in the City
Indeed, we talk more about sex, discussions of girls and gossip than creation. But, the heroine Carrie Bradshaw is still a fashion journalist. And his passion for haute couture, clothes and beautiful shoes allows us to see beautiful associations and allows us to dream a little bit.
Paradise Kiss is basically a Japanese manga drawn by Ai Yazawa. It was later adapted into anime, television series, and film.
In Paradise Kiss, we follow the adventures of Yukari Hayasaka, a high school student. The latter is constantly studying for the college entrance exams, not taking much time to have fun. She is in love with a boy in her class, Hiroyuki, who doesn’t seem to realize it.
A chance encounter on the street with the quirky Arashi and Isabella causes her to pass out. She ends up in the studio, where several students from Yaz’Art Fashion School work to make clothes. To his surprise, they ask him to become a model for their ParaKiss brand and to parade for them their next competition organized by their school.
So, how many fashion movies, tv shows, anime or fashion documentaries have you watched so far ? Comment below with your favorite among the list. And if you think we forgot one, feel free to comment so that we can add it to the list!