Documentaries That Inspire Me

As I'm writing this post, it is 10:15 on a Wednesday night and I'm already in bed. I feel a cold coming on and I'm wishing I don't wake up in full blown sickness (time of publishing, no cold!) I am watching the documentary A Band Called Death, which is about three teenage brothers who formed Death, the first black punk rock band in the 1970s. I rather watch a documentary than a movie, especially while working. Here are a list of my favorite docs to watch, all except for one can be watched on Netflix Instant.

The September Issue

This is my definite go to documentary to watch when I am editing. As a fashion photographer, of course the dream is to be in Vogue Magazine. Seeing the behind the scenes workings on the most important issue of the year is truly inspiring. The documentary also introduced me to the coolest woman ever, Grace Coddington. 


Helvetica is the only non-fashion doc on this list, but it is still a go film to watch. Every time I tell someone to watch this, I get the same reaction. "A documentary about a font? That sounds like the most boring thing ever." It's not! It's so interesting to see how a font has infiltrated our daily lives. 

L'Amour Fou

 L'amour fou" is less about fashion but more about the relationship between fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his lover, Pierre Berge. A warning: it's mostly in French so get ready to read some subtitles.

Valentino: The Last Emperor

"Compared to us, the rest are making rags!" - Karl Lagerfeld to Valentino Garavani. This quote pretty much sums up this movie about the life of designer Valentino. The film follows Valentino and his partner Giancarlo Giammetti as they prepare for the 2006 Spring/Summer Collection in Paris and July 2007 retrospective of Valentino's 45-year career.

Bill Cunningham New York

Bill Cunningham is such a legend in the fashion industry. Even though he is in his 80s, you will see him riding his bike around New York City and taking photos of the most stylish people around town. I had the pleasure of seeing him in action during NYFW earlier this year. I saw that blue jacket rush by and creepily took a photo of him while he shot someone coming out of a show. This documentary is such a pleasure. Bill truly loves what he does and it's so inspiring to watch, 

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel

Diana Vreeland is truly a badass woman. She was editor at both Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and launched the career of many superstars including Edie Sedgwick, Twiggy, and Cher. She was definitely controversial but that never stopped her in her vision revolutionizing the magazines she worked for, turning them into the powerhouses they are today.

In Vogue: The Editor's Eye

I was so excited to finally watch this documentary. I didn't have cable when it came out but I recently got access to HBO Go (which is awesome). These women are so inspiring and are women I definitely look up to. And again, Grace Coddington is everything. 

What are your favorite documentaries to watch that inspire you to get to work?