Let's face it. We followers of fashion face an unending search for the perfect muse, and before blogs became the all-in-one destination for that kind of window shopping, we got our styling tips from the eccentric casts of our favorite flicks. Film and fashion have reigned as an unstoppable tag-team since their existence was codependent, and now there are more models and designers on the silver screen than ever. In the wake of non-stop buzz over the release of The September Issue and Sundance's addictive series "The Day Before," we share the top 10 films that put a lasting stamp on our personal style.
1. Blow Up
They say every photo has a story, but it turns out some have incredibly scandalous crime scene clues in them, too! A 1960s cult classic by Michelangelo Antonioni, Blow Up is a swinging '60s tale of psychedelic style through the eyes of a playboy fashion photographer and his parade of model muses. Mod dresses, murders, and German supermodel Veruschka make this one worth multiple screenings.
Arguably Ben Stiller's greatest achievement (that's the "magnum," to clarify). If you haven't seen this hot mess by now you're missing out on the purest set of truths about the modeling industry.
3. Devil Wears Prada
It's hard to believe Hollywood waited until 2006 to treat the masses to a full-length feature on the sharp-toothed world of fashion journalism—where private wars go on behind the glossy pages of the most influential magazines. Mousy Anne Hathaway is no match for fashion editor Miranda Priestly—at least not until she shrugs off her frumpy dresses and dives head first into "the closet." A modern day Cinderella story if ever there was one.
Isaac Mizrahi's ex-boyfriend Douglas Keeve directed this star-studded documentary about the designer's preparation from brainstorming the fall 1994 line to showtime (and all the inevitable drama in between). The film itself became the catalyst for the couple's breakup, which makes viewing it all the more personal, and, yeah, thrilling.
Image from Simona Moroni.
There is no better place for humor than a playing field as frantic as fashion. The movie poster itself is a slap in the face, with naked women partially hidden behind the title (translation for the less informed: Ready-to-Wear). Directed by Robert Altman, the film portrays the essential chaos of Paris Fashion Week through a fictional cast of VIPs played by an actual cast of VIPs.
6. Valentino: The Last Emperor
Awash in that iconic red, tanned to the total max, surrounded by posh pugs, the empire of Valentino Garavani lives on forever via film. The production is accused of focusing excessively on design room close-ups and imperial legacy and too little on personal affairs (we want the pantone number of Valentino's tan!). Though we've got to admit, it's kind of refreshing to watch a fashion documentary that's mostly about fashion.
Eleven years after directing the film with Isaac Mizrahi, Douglas Keeve returns with another documentary, this time focusing on what young designers such as Proenza Schouler endure in their climb up the fashion industry ladder.
8. Funny Face
Forget Breakfast At Tiffany's for a second—there's another Audrey Hepburn film you need to get truly obsessed with. Combine the visual sense of Richard Avedon with the musical genius of Fred Astaire, and throw in the story of a bookstore owner who thinks fashion is nonsense (but happens to be a gorgeous model in the making, of course!). Add dance routines and unbelievably chic clothing, and you've got something infinitely fabulous. The end!
9. Marc Jacobs x Louis Vuitton
Revealing the industry as a stage for business and artistic expertise to flourish, Loïc Prigent's documentary of Marc Jacobs' design career brings to light the careful formulas and haphazard situations that combine to make the kind of clothing a design house becomes epically famous for.
Image from Jezebel.
10. Lagerfeld Confidential
Karl Lagerfeld, now a household name (does your mom call him Uncle Karl, too?) and world renowned multi-tasker with the most refined tastes known to woman, invites you to have a look around his world. Spanning three years of footage and the endless spectrum of his personal library, you and your friends can feel a bit closer to the number one enigma of contemporary fashion.