2009 is ramping up to be a big year for fashion, on the runway
and on the big screen. Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld may have led the way with their recent documentary debuts but this year, industry insiders are giving the fashion-obsessed a look behind the curtain at everything from designers to models to the making of Vogue. Seems Hollywood can’t get enough of high fashion, so to help style-savvy moviegoers navigate the new releases, here’s our take on this year’s must-see fashionable films.

Valentino: The Last Emperor

Claim to Fame: Legendary designer Valentino Garavani. One of the world’s greatest couturiers, famous for his glamorous designs, dramatic flourishes and love of the colour red.

Runway Notes: A rare behind-the-scenes look at the life of Valentino during the two years before his exit from his fashion house in 2008. There is, of course, plenty of fashion, drama and luxury but most charming is his relationship with business partner and lifelong companion, Giancarlo Giammetti.

Fashion Sightings:
The ultimate fashion thrill is Valentino himself. Watching him at the twilight of his career is like watching the end of an era. Chills!

Say no more:
“I know what women want. They want to be beautiful.” Valentino

The September Issue
Claim to Fame:

Vogue editor and fashion icon Anna Wintour. Arguably, the most influential person in American fashion. Known for her pageboy bob haircut and trademark sunglasses, she has a reputation for being icy, inscrutable and notoriously private.

Runway Notes:
If you liked
The Devil Wears Prada, you’ll love this voyeuristic look into the world of
Vogue. Director R.J. Cutler spent eight months observing the making of the all-important September issue, including sitting in on editorial meetings (awkward!), tagging along on photo shoots (sexy!) and jet ting off with Wintour to ateliers in London, Paris and Rome (someone’s gotta do it!). To be released, appropriately enough, in September 2009.

Fashion Sightings:
If it’s possible to overdose on fashion, this film is sure to do it. Anna Wintour sans sunglasses is already a dream come true. Add in the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, Oscar de la Renta and Karl Lagerfeld and it’s almost too much to handle. Almost.

Say no more:
“So it’s all pinks…do you really feel this is the most important message to put in the September issue? It looks very spring-y.” Anna Wintour

Coco Avant Chanel
Claim to Fame:
Finally, a fashion film that’s not a documentary! Chanel…in Paris…in love…and the clothes!? Pinch me.

Runway Notes: Gorgeous French actress Audrey Tautou stars as legendary fashion designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in this biopic, which tells the story of Chanel’s rise from poor obscurity to a French fashion icon.

Fashion Sightings: All of the costumes and accessories for the film were supervised by none other than Karl Lagerfeld himself so expect no less than sartorial genius.

Say no more: “Too many feathers, too much makeup, too much frou frou!” Coco Chanel

Read our interview with Audrey Tautou about being Coco here!

Plus we have behind-the-scene pictures from the set and the new Chanel No.5 campaign.

Picture Me
Claim to Fame:
Former model and catwalk darling Sara Ziff. Walked the runways for the likes of Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Christian Dior and appeared in ad campaigns for Stella McCartney, Tommy Hilfiger and Viktor & Rolf.

Runway Notes:
A hard look at the modeling industry from an insider’s perspective, featuring personal footage from Sara’s own career and interviews with fashion industry types on topics including eating disorders, disposability and the exorbitant pay cheques.

Fashion Sightings: Obviously models galore (Lisa Cant, Irina Lazareanu, Tanya D), plus appearances and commentary by fashion big wigs including Nicole Miller, Gilles Bensimon and Karl Lagerfeld.

Say no more:
“In a way you become this living doll. You become used to just having this superficial attention all the time.” Sara Ziff

Eleven Minutes
Claim to Fame:
Jay McCarroll, the first winner of
Project Runway. Known for his outspoken personality and flamboyant sense of style.

Runway Notes:
Determined to make the leap from reality TV designer to real life fashion designer, Jay let cameras back into his life (hmm…) to document the work, stress and drama leading up to his debut fashion show. Perhaps not the best way to break out of the reality TV designer pigeon-hole…

Fashion Sightings: Surprise, surprise, more reality TV stars moonlighting as fashion industry types, including Kelly Cutrone (aka. LC’s boss) and gay stylist to straight men everywhere, Carson Kressley.

Say no more:
“I don’t need to be treated like I don’t know what I’m doing even though I don’t know what I’m doing!” Jay McCarroll