You Should Be Watching: Series

Below is a group of video series featuring insightful talks, one-on-one discussions with fashion designers, and front row views of major runway shows. Easy to digest, yet stimulating and thought-provoking, these concise videos are perfect to watch while on the go or to utilize in a classroom setting.

TED Talks: Fashion & Beauty: Beneath the Skin Deep

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Beneath the Skin Deep, available streaming on Netflix, brings together 11 TED Talks focused on either fashion or beauty.

The speakers and topics vary widely, ranging from Issac Mizrahi’s rantings on fashion to the science of growing alternative textiles and on to  design creativity spurred by the lack copyright protection in the fashion industry.

Obviously the fashion focused talks are more pertinent to the costume historian than the beauty centered talks. However at only fifteen minutes in length, the talks are not a major time investment and I found many of the beauty focused talks equally relevant and thought provoking.

The talks are also available free on and can be found by searching beauty and fashion, filtered for talks.

Recommendation: Johanna Blakely: Lessons from Fashion’s Free Culture

Fashion DVD

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As the title states, this is a series of just that, fashion DVDs. The twenty(+) DVDs are available on Netflix and are compilations of well known designer’s runway shows. The shows, dating from around 2004-2005, are grouped into thematic topics such as Paris: Daywear, Milan: Knitwear, or simply Menswear or Haute Couture.

Each DVD is approximately 70 minutes long, void of any commentary, and focused wholly on the runway show. Simple text at the bottom of the screen denotes the designer and music has been added to accentuate the video footage. (The videos are great to play in the background when reading or writing.)

The DVD’s remind me of television shows from the late 1990’s like Full Frontal Fashion or Fashion Trance. It is exciting and a great research and teaching tool to be able to see live fashion shows. However with the immediacy of today’s media, the videos have become quickly outdated. With resources such as and Youtube it is easy to conduct a simple internet search to source up-to-date runway videos.

Recommendation: Haute Couture Autumn/Winter 2004-2005

Vogue Voices

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Available at, Vogue Voices is a series of 9 one-on-one interviews with well known fashion designers. Approximately ten minutes in length, the videos are highly informative and easy to watch.

Vogue’s Digital Creative Director Sally Singer conducted the interviews however Singer’s voice was left out of the final edits. The result is a rare and intimate opportunity to hear designers such as Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang, and The Rodarte sisters discuss their personal inspirations, design influences and the development of the fashion industry today.

Including images of particular garments, highlighted by designers during the interviews would have provided a better understanding of the topics being discussed.

Recommendation: Donatella Versace – Who doesn’t enjoy listening to Dontella Versace talk. Plus she is extremely personable and makes some interesting points about nurturing an established fashion house.

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