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April’s Not Too Early For September

April 14, 2010

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.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2010 11:00 pm

    I love Ladytron. I highly recommend you download the whole album, Witching Hour.

  2. evmaroon permalink
    April 14, 2010 11:07 pm

    did someone say LADYTRON? I love them, too! 604 is good, too.

  3. April 14, 2010 11:13 pm

    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.

    I wholeheartedly agree with this analysis. I too found myself surprising charmed and inspired by the tightly run ship that is Vogue. While I still have problems with it on a fundamental level, I can very much appreciate the care and attention in which Wintour rules her empire.

    While I have no doubt Ms Wintour can be crispy when the spirit moves her, I think too often it’s easy for folks with tissue paper feelings to conflate directness with rudeness. I also think if you’re going to play at that level you should expect to conduct yourself with the utmost professionalism and grow a thicker skin.

    It probably helps being mindful that it’s not all about you, though it seemed that some of the subordinates were having difficulties comprehending that message.

  4. April 14, 2010 11:28 pm

    @e Glad to see you here! I just might buy the whole album.
    @snarky I think a lot of the employees see it as being about their viewpoint, but it’s really about the good of the magazine as a whole and not the individual parts.

  5. jen permalink
    April 14, 2010 11:40 pm

    what’s this about ladytron now? tasha if you want to borrow some of their music, i have some. i’ve been wanting to see the september issue – it’s on my netflix. anna wintour fascinates me. or her public persona does anyway. xo

  6. Candice permalink
    April 15, 2010 2:41 am

    Thank you for this great review, Tasha. I will now rent this flick whereas prior to reading the above post I had no intention of doing so. So there.

  7. April 15, 2010 12:24 pm

    @jen make me a CD!
    @Candice yes, totally rent it. It’s really worth it.

  8. msjacks permalink
    April 15, 2010 12:31 pm

    Ditto. I saw this on my Netflix On Demand and I’ve GOT to see it now, even though I kept skipping around it before.

  9. April 15, 2010 12:46 pm

    It’s a good documentary, Robin!

  10. Kia permalink
    April 15, 2010 6:38 pm

    First time poster, I’ve been enjoying the topics here quite a bit.

    It was interesting to compare and contrast this with a season of Kell on Earth…

    As an avid tennis fan, Wintour’s fan girl crush on Roger Federer has amused me thru out the years. I couldn’t help but smile when she was in a meeting with Testino in Paris and immediately asked if he saw RF’s match. He said no, but quickly added that he knew he had won. Coliseum shoot be damned, you better know what’s going on with Fed during the French Open.

    Looking forward to more interesting posts.

  11. msjacks permalink
    April 15, 2010 6:46 pm

    And we look forward to more comments from you, Kia! Welcome!

  12. April 15, 2010 6:51 pm

    Hey Kia! Are you migrating from SP? Welcome! Pull up a comfy chair.

  13. Kia permalink
    April 16, 2010 9:36 am

    I did find my way here via SP & appreciate the welcome!

  14. raymondj permalink
    June 15, 2010 11:44 am

    Hey Tasha, I was just thinking about this post over the weekend because I did a double feature of watching Coco Before Chanel and The September Issue, and the latter was much more satisfying and keeps staying with me. I not only “got” Anna Wintour, I also got sucked into Grace, too. Their dynamic as collaborators was really sort of riveting, I think they both need each other to help produce such iron tight issues with those photo spreads.

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