The Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival has just revealed its program, and it’s packed with runway shows, exhibitions, industry forums and much more.

To complement the fashionable happenings around town next month, ACMI has curated a series of documentaries that cover different fashion eras. These films also examine the changing trends and social influences of fashion and introduce the designers, tailors, models and editors who keep the wheels of fashion turning.

And Then There is Naples (E poi c’è Napoli)

This poetic and highly visual film examines how the landscape, architecture and history of Naples has shaped the elegance of its people. Filmmaker Gianluca Migliarotti says, “Naples can be very joyful on one side and very dramatic on the other side, but it is always strong in the way it expresses itself, and I think the Neapolitan style is really affected by this.” Migliarotti takes audiences on a journey through the city, inside the workrooms of bespoke tailors and artisans, and behind the scenes of renowned fashion houses such as Calabrese, Isaia and Kiton. There he meets craftspeople with knowledge and skills passed down through generations and with a passion for impeccable dressing.

Pop Models (Les Mannequins, corps de la mode)

Filmmaker Olivier Nicklaus investigates the history of modeling and the fashion industry’s constant hunger for fresh faces. Beginning with 1950s model Bettina, then moving on to supermodels in the late 1980s and early 1990s – whose fame overshadowed the clothes – then to today’s breed of models, armed with social media. Brands and designers are now courting models such as Cara Delevingne not only for their looks but also for their social media profiles. “There is this old idea that models should be beautiful and shut up,” Nicklaus says. “What I appreciated, interviewing some of them, is that they are very articulate and they have a very good understanding of their role in society.” Pop Models takes an intelligent approach to telling the modeling industry’s story so far and prompts audiences to contemplate what will happen next.

The Balmain Style (La Ligne Balmain)

This is a compelling portrait of wunderkind Olivier Rousteing, who took over the reins of Balmain at the age of 25. Filmed during his preparation for the autumn/winter 2014 collection in Paris, audiences get an intimate look into what makes the gifted designer tick. It also shows the tight-knit team that supports him. Stripped of the pizazz often associated with runway shows, filmmaker Loïc Prigent reveals the stress, insecurity and excitement that go into making each collection a reality. Prigent draws intriguing parallels between founder Pierre Balmain and the young creative director by interlacing historical footage and anecdotes with insights into Rousteing’s genius and the heady world of models and popstars that he inhabits.

Fashion in the 1990s (La mode des années)

The 1990s was a significant period in the fashion world, inspired by grunge, sex and rebellion. Loïc Prigent explores this complex era that was also shaped by AIDS and reactions against the excesses of the 1980s. During the ‘90s there was a sharp juxtaposition of glamour and minimalism, which was evident in the work of designers such as Martin Margiela, John Galliano and Marc Jacobs. Kurt Cobain’s checked shirts and Dr. Martens inspired styles from the street to the runway, while Kate Moss cut a swathe through the fashion industry but was accused of encouraging heroin chic and anorexia. Experts including Tim Blanks (Style.com) and Anne Boulay (Vanity Fair) muse on the power of the 1990s and its influence on fashion today.

Dressed up for Summer 2015 (Habillé(e)s pour printemps-été 2015)

French television host Mademoiselle Agnès casts her eyes over the latest trends, activities and hot young things in the fashion world. Together with Loïc Prigent, Mademoiselle Agnès covers the gala parades by Chanel and Dior and Jean Paul Gaultier’s ready-to-wear runway show inspired by Miss France. She meets Moschino’s creative director, Jeremy Scott, who shares etiquette tips for fashion week and she sees JW Anderson’s first collection for Loewe. With her finger on the pulse, Madamoiselle Agnès reflects on the last 30 years of fashion with her signature aplomb.

Fashion on Film will screen at ACMI from Saturday February 21 to Sunday March 8. For program information and tickets, visit acmi.net.au.

VAMFF will run from March 14 to March 22, 2015. For program information and tickets, visit vamff.com.au.