• Dwynwen at Loch Ness Knitting


One of the fantastic things about yarn and fibre hobbies is that you can combine a creative session with watching great movies or listening to new radio shows and podcasts.

I enjoy absorbing facts and real stories so I tend to watch and listen to documentaries and 'behind the scenes' type programming. If I'm making a pattern which requires following a chart then I'll choose radio or podcasting. I have a healthy addiction to Radio 4 from the BBC.

If I'm working on a project that has large areas of plain stitching with not very much shaping, or super easy repeats I find I can knit on auto pilot and tune into a documentary.

Working with colour, dyeing and design means I'm on the edge of the fashion and textile world. There are some excellent documentaries available just now that allow me to peek over the fence into that world without getting swept away in the drama.

Here are my top picks:

1) Unzipped (1995) - taking a behind the scenes look at the collection and catwalk show of Issac Mizrahi. This is a fascinating look at the cult of personality around fashion designers and supermodels in the '90s. It shows the pressure of fast fashion creeping into the industry and twisting the values of the design process. If you want to understand where we are now in the hectic world of socials and influencers this is essential viewing.

2) Catwalk (1995) - Director Robert Leacock follows Supermodel Christy Turlington through the Spring Fashion Week Catwalks of 1993 in Milan, Paris and New York. Viewed from our new perspective of the Me Too era there are parts of this film that will make your jaw drop! Turlington is currently gracing the cover of Harpers Bazaar and using her platform to advocate for improving maternal health provision. I admire her power to survive, thrive and advocate in an industry that has a poor reputation for using up and disposing young women as soon as the next season rolls around.

3) Franca: Chaos and Creation (2016) - Imagine being able to ask all those awkward questions of your parents, and for their answers to be stories that featured some of the brightest and infamous creative characters of your time!

This intimate documentary portrait of Franca Sozzani is so much more than a walk through her years as editor in chief of Italian Vogue.

If you need inspiration to stand your ground and stick up for your creative vision listen to Franca.

4) McQueen (2018) - Following the rise of British designer Lee A McQueen from his fresh fashion school graduate years through to the pinnacle of success at Givenchy. The production does a beautiful job at conveying the drive and commitment that McQueen gave to his work and the complex values that stood behind his most controversial pieces. If you are working or aspiring to work in fashion and the creative industries there are also some key lessons in this documentary about the marriage between business and creativity.

5) Jeremy Scott: The Peoples Designer (2015) - I think I had a full on head tilt moment from start to finish watching this one. The noise, colour and energy levels are at the opposite end of my day to day spectrum. However I was really impressed by the underlying values that Scott was trying to bring to his first collection with the iconic Moschino brand. His finished pieces becoming the most bizarre ironic wearable commentary on branding and disposable packaging. If you need to be brave or are looking for something to shock you out of your creative comfort zone this is for you.

I'd love to see what you have been working on during your Knitflix sessions. Please share your photos in the comments and any recommendations you have for viewing or listening.

#knitflix #documentary #creative

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