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June 21, 2024

Must-watch: Top 6 documentaries that take you inside the world of luxury fashion

Ruhi Gilder
Taste, touch, smell, sight, and sound, Dior engages all the senses in its latest documentary, titled ‘Nose’. Available for streaming on Amazon Prime and Apple TV, it released on the 22 of February, and focuses on the art of perfume making. 
Directors Arthur de Kersauson and Clément Beauvais filmed François Demachy, Dior’s Perfumer-Creator for almost 2 years. The feature-length documentary details the process (not ingredients, mind you) of creating perfume for the French luxury house that offers some of the finest, luxurious scents in the world.
On a trip around the globe to locations in India, Sri Lanka, Calabria and Grasse, Demachy searches high and low for smells that excite. In the words of Dior’s chief perfumer since 2006, “To me, perfume is in its essence, a human journey.” 


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If this smell-good-movie makes you want to explore what goes behind the scenes of the most popular luxury brands, here’s a list of exciting documentaries to watch now 
Valentino: The Last Emperor
This is a 2008 documentary film that highlights the life of legendary Valentino Garavani, directed and produced by Matt Tyrnauer, Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine. Passionate about all things beautiful, the Italian couturier is shown surrounded by a tight-knit circle of friends and employeesHis 45-year long career and personal life with business partner and companion, Giancarlo Giammetti, is a major part of the film.  
Lagerfeld Confidential
Notoriously private designer Karl Lagerfeld opens up about his German upbringing and career in this 2007 documentary. Creative Director at Chanel, Fendi and his eponymous label, Karl was always instantly recognised by his iconic white hair, black sunglasses, fingerless gloves with many rings and high collars
A fly-on-the-wall perspective is given to viewers along with Lagerfeld’s views about everything from fashion to literature. 
The September Issue

R J Cutler creates a journey for the viewers, following Anna Wintour, the illustrious editor of Vogue, as she prepares the September 2007 issue. Deemed one of the most influential issues of the magazine, it marked a shift in fashion seasons and it was fatter due to an influx of ads and style tips. The film mainly features Anna Wintour and Vogue US Creative Director, Grace Coddington, as they shape up the issue to perfection.  
Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards
Master shoemaker Manolo Blahnik leaves no ‘sole’ unturned in this 2017 documentarySpanning his illustrious career, the hour and a half long film also includes interviews of notable names in the industry – Rihanna, Anna Wintour, Naomi Campbell and Sofia Coppola
The name of the documentary stems from Manolo’s childhood in the remote Canary Islands, where the designer created little shoes out of chocolate foil wrappers for the lizards that inhabited his parents’ garden. 
The Director: An Evolution in Three Acts
This 2013 documentary explores the creative genius of Italian fashion designer Frida Giannini, Creative Director for Gucci from 2006 to 2014. It is structured in three parts, directed by Christina Voros, and is an intimate look inside the process of developing haute fashion collections for luxury brands. 
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Ruhi Gilder


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