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.]