The September Issue (2009)
Anna, Grace, ALT – follow the star editors into the depths of Condé's plush, carpeted offices as they put together Vogue’s vaunted fall fashion issue in a process that is, regardless of its connection to fashion, a dizzying display of coordination and production. Whether you love Wintour or or hate her, this is required viewing.
I Am Love (2009)
Technically, this drama tracing the disintegration of a rich Milanese family has nothing to do with fashion. But, oh, the clothes, the cinematography, the music, and the Tilda! Fashion may not be the subject, but thanks to stars Tilda Swinton and Luca Guadagnino, glamour and style are always present (and yes, Waris makes an appearance, too).
L’Amour Fou (2010)
A study of Yves Saint Laurent’s fashionable, troubled life as seen through his relationship with his creative and romantic partner of many years, Pierre Berge. It’s as effective a study of a great designer and his luxe lifestyle as it is an intimate, understated tearjerker and heartwarming love story.
This silent movie (as well as its star, the heartbreaking Clara Bow) launched the very concept of the It Girl – that young, spritely femme who has more je ne sais quoi appeal than she can handle. In this case, the lady is a plucky (if not monomaniacal) shop girl sporting adorable (and surprisingly timeless) flapper fashions.
Bill Cunningham New York (2010)
Step inside the life (and teeny, tiny apartment) of a true Manhattan eccentric and the shutterbug whose “On The Street” column for The New York Times did more for street-style photography than the Sartorialist and Tommy Ton put together. Entirely inspiring for anyone with ambition or vision.
Photos, clockwise from upper left: I Am Love; Magnolia Pictures, L'Amour Fou; IFC Entertainment, The September Issue; Roadside Attractions, It; Paramount Pictures.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Audrey Hepburn hit the height of It-ness with her funny, twinkling, and secretive turn as Truman Capote's glamourous, libidinous social climber Holly Golightly. Her performance, the dialogue, and, yes, that Givenchy dress, have made this flick the stuff of fashion legend.
Party Girl (1995)
In the tradition of Bow and Golightly, Parker Posey’s Mary is an aimless (though not shiftless) Downtown girl who promotes parties, scratches around for rent, wears only the chicest clothes, attempts liaisons with DJs, and projects fabulousness through an ever-present sneer. You either know this girl or you are this girl.
Isaac Mizrahi hasn’t been on the cutting edge or the top shelf of fashion for years. But when this doc debuted, he was at the height of his powers (a cast of classic supes — including Naomi, Cindy, Kate, Christy, and Linda — is your proof) and having just the best time ever making clothes and kissing cheeks all over the globe.
Ciao! Manhattan (1972)
This trippy, semi-autobiographical life-and-death story of a fictional It Girl starred Edie Sedgwick – the real-life Warhol It Girl who OD'ed before the movie's release. Instead of being a life-imitating-art downer, Ciao! is a sweet, unstructured ode to all that was right (and wrong) with the kind of fame produced by Warhol's Factory (and fashion itself.)
Photos, clockwise from upper left: Breakfast at Tiffany's; Paramount Pictures, Party Girl; First Look International, Ciao! Manhattan; Plexifilm.