Isn't she adorable?
Isn’t she adorable?

If the profile featured in The September Issue of Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, is supposed to frame her as a cold-hearted, semi-sadistic bitch similar to the character Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, it doesn’t do a very good job. In fact, I found myself admiring and even liking Ms. Wintour. She is very good at her job, very honest and direct, and clear about what her expectations are from her employees. Vogue is the premier fashion magazine; all other fashion rags are playing catch-up on the regular. So of course she’s going to expect excellence from the people who work for her. It’s the big time, and if you’re lucky enough to work there, you shouldn’t be surprised that she’s not holding your hand and giving you a cookie when you do a good job.

The movie overall does a really good job of capturing the process that goes into creating the most important issue of the year. It does focus mostly on Anna, Grace Coddington (the amazingly talented creative director of the magazine), and somewhat on André Leon Talley (the flamboyant editor-at-large). There’s a lot of push-pull with Grace and Anna, with Grace usually on the losing end. Which is probably as it should be because creative types tend to not be able to edit down their work and it is a magazine, which requires decisive editing since you can’t put every last photo in one issue. Anna is really good at being decisive; in fact she describes it as her biggest strength in the movie.

There’s some funny scenes where Anna has to (quietly) lay the smack down on some errant fashion editors, and she does make a face similar to one made by Miranda in Devil. There’s also a scene reminiscent of the scene in Devil where Miranda and Co. go to James Holt’s studio to pre-screen his collection. Anna and Co. show up at Yves Saint Laurent and the head designer, Stefano Pilati, has to explain why he hasn’t designed anything colorful. She does not look happy. Oddly (to me), Anna hates black. She never wears it, doesn’t like to see it in the run-throughs, and obviously doesn’t like when designers create an entire line of black. This is contrary to the stereotype of fashion editors wearing black all the time.

I love the soundtrack. I’ve already downloaded two songs from it, Ladytron’s “Destroy Everything You Touch” and The Asteroid Galaxy Tour’s “Around The Bend”. It’s very fashion-y. I can watch movies I love over and over, and this movie is definitely addictive to those who are interested in this kind of shit. There’s lots of drool-worthy footage of the Vogue closets, haute couture shows and photo shoots. So fire up the Instant Queue and watch it in a fur with a glass of champagne and sunglasses on. It’s like that.

[A version of this post previously appeared on I Fry Mine In Butter.]

2 thoughts on “April’s not too early for September

  1. Miriam Heddy says:

    "I'd just been on a trip to Minnesota, where I can only kindly describe most of the people I saw as little houses. And I just felt like there’s such an epidemic of obesity in the United States. And for some reason everyone focuses on anorexia."
    –Anna Wintour.



    And given that this post popped up on the Notes from the Fatosphere Feed, I actually bothered to look up the original quote to see if maybe I'd misremembered hating her.

    Turns out, I did not misremember Ms. Wintour's dehumanizing fat women.

    • Yeah, the "cute" comment is not really said in all seriousness.

      That's a pretty harsh quote, I hadn't heard that one. I know she's a raging fatphobe (I think pretty much everyone knows she's a raging fatphobe), but they don't say anything about it in the movie aside from Andre Leon Talley saying "Ms. Wintour said I needed to lose weight for my health". The way they portray her in the movie is not in line with what most people think about her personality and working style, aside from her fatphobic comments. I think if they were trying to prop up the popular view that she's this monster who's impossible to work with, they failed and actually put her in a flattering light. But I don't really know their intentions behind that. The movie is shot in 2007, that might be before the whole brou-ha-ha about anorexic models and Anna Wintour's comments regarding that. They didn't really touch on her personal views other than what she thinks about fashion.

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