26 responses

  1. jane
    February 25, 2010

    i'm becoming a regular! i loved the september issue from the aspect of looking behind the curtain, as it were. it was interesting to me how the talent was framed: i loved grace coddington (how many times have i said this in the past 48 hours?) and i wholeheartedly agree that american vogue would not be dominant if anna wintour were trying to win an award for being nice.

    it was also interesting to see some of the other creatives at work, and get a feel for their personalities. i did not end up liking everyone in the film, but was grateful for the behind the scenes so must give them credit for allowing the cameras.

  2. LPC
    February 25, 2010

    Jane, we're happy to have you as a regular:).

  3. Mardel
    February 25, 2010

    I saw it in theaters in September, with friends. Some friends were appalled at how mean AW was, but that didn't bother me, I've known corporate executives who were far worse, and as you said, successful executives are usually not nice. I was however surprised at how completely boring and flat she came across in that film. I expected mean with a sharp personality, which I did not see. I too loved Grace Coddington, she is a fabulous artistic director.

  4. Headbands and Hand Bags
    February 25, 2010

    I am looking forward to seeing this movie. I don't think much could shock me about the fashion industry after reading then seeing the Devil Wear Prada. Ok I know that is so Hollywood, and yes I did enjoy both the book and movie. Will hope to see it an be entertained, then continue in the fashion direction I have always been on. Great post! Have a lovely day!

  5. cambridgechic
    February 25, 2010

    What a fabulous post. Not only because I've put The September Issue in my Netflix queue (and wondered if I really wanted to watch Anna Wintour be mean to people), but because I work in software and the parallels you draw are uncanny.

    P.S. I adore your blog!

  6. LPC
    February 25, 2010

    Ha! I love it that others have worked with top executives, and even in the software industry, and that we mix our perspectives. Even with The Devil Wears Prada:). P.S. CambridgeChic you made my day.

  7. DocP
    February 25, 2010

    The September Issue is at the top of my Netflix queue. I have no desire to be the 6'2" Russian softwear architect, understand what he is thinking or let him dictate my life. So why does it feel different with fashion?

  8. Housewife Bliss
    February 25, 2010

    really great blog suggestions, I love the September Issue, but have yet to see the film, dying to. Thanks for the sneak peak and your thoughts.

  9. Deja Pseu
    February 25, 2010

    I love your analogy about the yeast starter vs. bread. That's probably the most apt comparison I've seen. It's funny how AW keeps talking about how certain items are "wearable" and I kept wondering, "by whom?" What I also found to be interesting is that she herself wears pretty much the same uniform (floral print dress with knee-length skirt, cardigan, heeled nude mules) and almost always the same necklace throughout the film.

  10. LPC
    February 25, 2010

    Deja – I noticed that necklace too. I am going to have to go and see if it's called out anywhere. She does, exactly, have a uniform, and it's almost girlish. Doc, so why does fashion do to us what the software guys don't? Different magic being promised, I suppose.

  11. Deja Pseu
    February 25, 2010

    And thanks for the shout out. :-)

  12. Kate
    February 25, 2010

    I saw The September Issue, too. I must say, I was overwhelmed with how unintelligent Wintour was. I was expecting ruthless, rude and fierce, but the picture that emerged was rude, yet hardly bitingly quick-witted in any way.

    There's a terribly embarrassing scene (not a spoiler) in a meeting where Anna completely misunderstands the point being raised by another person and makes a silly comment.

    And yes, I acknowledge it would make me super self-conscious to have a film crew follow me around while I work.

    I was fascinated, then, by her real vulnerability that comes across, and really her very ordinariness. Which was a really refreshing portrait: I feel much more comfortable seeing her in that light instead of the deified, shiny bob in the front row of shows.

    It's a great documentary. But it still leaves high fashion as a totally mystic entity for me.

  13. Tish Jett
    February 25, 2010

    Having been in that world for many, many years — all the shows, all over the world, all the adjectives, all the back-stabbing, all the outrageous gifts given to those in the industry, all the free clothes and on and on. The parties, the juggling for seats at the collections, the tantrums, the tempers. . . I could go on and on.

    Instead of going to a very glamourous job in NYC, I stayed and married My-Reason-For-Living-In-France and never looked back. Well I guess I'm sort of looking back now, only it's different. I can do it without make-up, only a great anti-aging cream and a ponytail. And of course, most reward of all I don't earn a paycheck. . .

    Did you notice the other day I left you a little something chez moi?

    Oh yes, what has Anna done to her face? I would think she could afford the best of the best OR the best of the best would do whatever gratis.

    Love every word you write.


  14. Tish Jett
    February 25, 2010

    Oooops, "most rewarding of all. . ."

  15. the gardeners cottage
    February 25, 2010

    My 2 cents.

    I saw the movie when it first came out so I don't have a lot of the details fresh in my memory. But I did like the film. I felt AW was very much aware of the cameras and did the best she could with them. She seemed uncomfortable. What I loved the most though were her own clothes. I found it so ironic that she fills the pages of Vogue with all this outlandish stuff and yet she wears beautiful, simply cut clothes that are available to all of us at just about every price point. Also, I think she looks great. I'm not sure of her exact age but I think she is beautiful and it does not look like she has had any work done. I say yeah to that.


  16. ADG
    February 25, 2010

    I saw the docu-movie on the plane the other week when en route to London. I was completely drawn in…but drawn in like one would be when driving by a car wreck…you can't help but look. Especially when the cars are astronomically expensive and the victims are either famous or freakish.

    Brilliant writing by the way.

  17. Maureen@IslandRoar
    February 25, 2010

    Wow, all these comments make me want to see this. I like how you compare what they do to the yeast, and we want the bread.

  18. The Daily Connoisseur
    February 25, 2010

    I really wanted to see this movie and when I finally did I was disappointed. I felt it was very 'held back' and restrained. It was entertaining and Grace was my favorite aspect of the film, but the whole thing left me feeling a little cold…

  19. Mary Jo from TrustYourStyle
    February 26, 2010

    I agree Lisa, I think all too much is made of Anna's personality–you have to be tough to be a CEO. That said, I think the movie is worth watching just to watch the way her mouth drops open when Mario Testino is describing the monumental shoot replete with soldiers on horses that he's planning in Rome.


  20. Duchesse
    February 26, 2010

    Beware! On my way to see this movie I stopped in a luxury shop and bought a quiet, lovely necklace. After seeing the movie, I decided the necklace was too safe, and exchanged it for a big clanking piece that was wrong for me; Vogue brainwashed!

    Anna Wintour stuck me as deeply introverted- which often comes across as not nice (and she may not be, too.) And insecure despite her spectacular sable trimmed suit.

  21. LPC
    February 26, 2010

    ADG, thank you. Mary Jo, how about when Testino comes BACK from Rome with almost nothing to show for it? I could not tell, Tish, Kate, Connoiseur, what Anna has or has not had done. Except the iconic haircut, of course.

  22. Anonymous
    February 26, 2010

    Has anyone ever asked AW about the difference between fashion and style? The simplicity of being a guy is that we can conceive of these two goals as separate and distinct – and only be peripherally affected by the Fashion Czar and her minions… (yes, I would acknowledge that this specific shade of CERULEAN in my semi-custom dress shirt may have been influenced – yes, from the cotton mill Albini – by AW… HAH).


  23. Sydney Shop Girl
    February 26, 2010

    I discovered your blog through the wonderful Fax Fuchsia.

    Love this post, love your turn of phrase. Going to be up all night reading your blog whilst Coco Chanel the DVD is going. I borrowed the Audrey Tatou version, I am not quite ready for Shirley M in the title role.

    Happy blogging and looking forward to reading more.

  24. Caroline, No.
    February 27, 2010

    Massive thanks for the shout-out, LPC!

    It's a fascinating subject. I'm enjoying seeing this previously very closed industry opening up over the last couple of years. I'm surprised by how much American Vogue is collaborating with the industry reveal, Wintour surely being one of the main protagonists in perpetuating the myth of inaccesibility and mystique that Vogue and the industry in general has previously surrounded itself?

    The September Issue was really interesting, but didn't tell us much new. Wintour was virtually sitting in the laps of advertisers at the sponsors lunch they showed. Coddington an (unintentionally hilarious?) genius. Wish we'd seen more of André Leon Talley. Sally Singer looked ready to drop dead of exhaustion and despair. Loved it!

  25. Audi
    March 2, 2010

    I'm so honored to have made your reading list! And how appropriate that you are reading it for fun. It is meant to be just that.

  26. Margie
    November 10, 2010

    The comments are interesting, I was impressed with Anna actually, of course if she didn’t have Grace Coddington American Vogue would be entirely different. I can’t see that Anna could be any other way, she has to keep a certain distance but she didn’t come across as a dictator and encouraged people to think. I see the partnership of Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington as the key to it all.
    I also liked her own choice of wardrobe and although yes, she seemed to wear the same two necklaces I took that as having sentimental value!

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