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|Index||38 reviews in total|
I had two great insights into Vogue and the fashion world. The first, and most important insight is that assuming the Vogue target audience is 25-45, the people who make the most important decisions are well above that age. Anna Wintour must be in her mid 50's, similarly or even older, Grace Coddington, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean Paul Gaulthier, Giorgio Armani, Oscar de la Renta, etc, etc. And what was also relevant about this "discovery" as seen in the movie, is that these people are NOT wearing the ridiculous outfits they are foisting on the public through magazines such as Vogue--which sets the fashion dictates of a season. Anna Wintour wore only the most feminine, attractive, figure flattering, AGE-APPROPRIATE outfits throughout the movie---which are damn hard to find in the stores! (unless, perhaps, one is paying top, top dollar for designer prices which may cater to an older crowd) But the fashion designs that are being interpreted for mainstream America is following the latest trends as written and photographed by Vogue. Secondly, this is a movie that attempts to humanize Anna Wintour, and does so simply by showing that she is an obsessive human being, whose obsession is her magazine. She does show some warmth with her daughter, but otherwise she is simply driven and clearly makes no attempt to ease the palpable discomfort of others in her presence. She's not evil, nor bitchy, but she does seems to take some pride her in tabla rosa facial expressions--which clearly raises the anxiety level of those submitting work to her. It wouldn't hurt her professionalism to attempt more empathy, but I guess she doesn't see it that way. Overall, it's a very interesting movie and shows the business side of creating the largest fashion magazine in the world, complete with casual references to using Photoshop to enhance an already beautiful woman, or the promotion of fur in fashion due probably to the large amount of furriers who buy advertising. Great eye candy throughout!
I saw this documentary at the Galway Film Fleadh. The anticipation was high, and the screening was sold out; I'm happy to report that the audience wasn't disappointed. This doc details the run up to the printing of the titular September issue of American Vogue magazine, which an estimated one in eight American women purchase annually. The documentary style is fast-paced with out being breakneck, with one of the freshest soundtracks I've had the pleasure of hearing on a cinema sound system. (Ladytron, Ratatat, Cinematic Orchestra, Mark Ronson et al.) It focuses on mostly on the upper echelons of Vogue, namely inscrutable ice queen and inspiration for "The Devil Wears Prada", editor Anna Wintour. Creative director Grace Coddington brings some welcome levity during the more "fashion has no mercy, dahling!" moments. If you enjoyed Ugly Betty, The Devil Wears Prada, America's Next Top Model and Project Runway, you already know that this is right up your street; for everybody else it's a fascinating and occasionally funny study of an inordinately influential individual at the apex of a bizarre and enthralling industry, and those that surround her.
I just flat out love this movie. First of all, as a life time
journalism fan (even fanatic) there has never been anything like this.
This film is a chocolate cake for anyone that wants an inside look at
one of the great publishing stories ever. It is also a look at the
industry just before the crash. Magazines, and all other print media
will never be the same. So the fact that this movie nails an entire
industry, is truly amazing.
But what's saves this from being a museum piece are the outrageous and fabulous people in the film. You won't believe a cast of chatacters who are NOT actors, but are better.
I say---don't miss this. There will never be another film anything like it.
Meryl Streep's character in The Devil Wears Prada is rumoured to be
inspired by Anna Wintour, the legendary editor-in-chief of the fashion
magazine Vogue, and it's not hard to see how so. A cup of Starbucks in
hand, the bob hairdo, the cutting remarks, people going into a frenzy
whenever her name is mentioned, and worse when dazzled by her presence.
Even the vogue office does seem quite similar in terms of layout, and
the number of assistants constantly scurrying around looking busy and
executing to her every instruction.
It's hard not to see why Wintour and Vogue for that matter, became the subjects of a documentary, since both are very powerful in setting the agenda for an entire industry, with what's being said and featured in the magazine, goes. R.J. Cutler's documentary provided that sneak peek into the behind the scenes working of what's to date the largest single issue of the iconic fashion magazine (it's September 2007 issue), where little interesting nuggets of information get dropped around, such as the distinction and importance of the September issue (hence the title) in trend-setting what's hot and what's possibly not, over the next 12 months.
There are always people curious about the glamorous industry, filled with pretty clothes, flamboyant designers, glitzy fashion weeks in trendy capitals of the world, and of course, the beautiful clothes-horse models. It does seem to be this perfect little eco-system filled with perfect people on the surface, though those looking toward this film in digging out some skeletons from the closet will be sorely disappointed. This in part due to the power that Wintour wields, where you see not only new designers in awe, but veterans from the established fashion houses that come with reverence, for possibly fear of offending the almighty, the high priestess or so she's called, in charge of the bible of the industry.
But of course one editor a magazine maketh not. R.J.'s documentary provided a more holistic look at the making of the magazine. And not just any magazine mind you, but THE one brand that has been around for more than a century, and with that comes trust and influence to make or break designers. R.J. was provided unprecedented access into the behind-the- scenes look at the assembling of an issue, and with that comes plenty of photo shoots, jet- setting lifestyles, the pursuit of deadlines, and enough of office politics. The amount of work is just staggering.
However, the filmmaker does seem to fall short in eliciting a lot more from Wintour, aside from talking-heads styled short interviews which became the bookends of the film. In fact, it's more of the Creative Director Grace Coddington's show, where you will probably be won over by her sheer genius and eye for creative art form in directing photo shoots and dreaming up storyboards on the fly for the still pictures to tell a story. I admit I was more impressed with Coddington's story, wry humour and creative style rather than Wntour's cool demeanour, which often sets them up for clashes, for the good of the magazine of course, in constantly raising the bar, though at times it does seem that someone's creative spark do get unappreciated and often doused with cold water. Such is their love-hate professional relationship.
Which primes this film with a "villain" so to speak, but of course the boss always has the final say and calls the shots. We do get to see how both of them rose to power (they started off as models!) through their joining Vogue at the same time, and rise through the ranks based on their respective strengths. Filled with countless of fashion celebrities, clothes, accessories and the occasional cutting remark (I do think Wintour seemed to have held back her tongue a lot more since a camera is constantly in her way), The September Issue is a superb look into the sheer intense and immense talent and hard work that goes into the publication of every issue, and would likely induce you to grab a copy of Vogue right after the show.
I'll never look at this magazine in the same frivolous light ever again, as they are really taken seriously given the money made available and someone's career probably on the line too.
The most interesting thing about this movie was that it wasn't about
fashion. The movie was about work and excellence. Vogue wouldn't be a
success without the creativity of Grace Coddington and the business
acumen of Anna Wintour.
Grace Coddington was a revelation and her ability to tell stories through still images is inspiring.
I long suspected that The Devil Wears Prada was a cruel screed against Anna Wintour. I think in this movie we see a more accurate picture of who she is. While not the warmest person in the world, she comes across as incredibly real and she is good at what she does. That must be respected.
First, let me tell you that I am a straight man who is not at all
interested at fashion. I have never bought a Vogue September issue nor
have I ever even bought a fashion magazine. After realizing this movie
got great reviews, I decided to see it. The reviews were right and I
most certainly was not disappointed. The September Issue is the rare
kind of movie that is a combination of documentary with a message and
Many people know about Anna Wintour. If you seen The Devil Wears Prada, you'll know that she is pure evil. Although there may be some truth to this statement, this movie paints her in a different light. The movie opens with her explaining that people who wear high fashion should not be made fun of just because they were haute couture. Wintour is looked at as more of a person with morals who gets what she wants because she often is right and does what is best for the magazine. She doesn't strive to be mean, she does it for the magazine.
The star of the movie is not Wintour. It's actually the creative director, Grace Coddington. Coddington is not nearly as likable as Wintour ironically, but she is central to the movie and the reason it is so good. The movie's message is about how the fashion world is so superficial and perfect. Towards the end, the cameraman for the movie is used in a photograph, however, he is just an average person who is slightly overweight. Coddington urges people not to touch the picture up. She says "Nobody is perfect, but models are." This is the movie's central idea.
Another reason I really enjoyed the movie is that it really does have some great film-making. R.J. Cutler really does have some nice shots including my favorite of a couple kissing in front of the Eiffel Tower. It has nothing to do with the movie and yet it is such a moving shot. There are quite a few establishing shots similar to this in the movie and these little things are the icing on the cake.
You don't have to be a fashion lover to love this movie. You don't have to be a subscriber to Vogue. You don't have to be a woman. Whatever your preconceptions about this were, ignore them. This a movie for anybody that should be seen by everybody. The September Issue opens wide this weekend so make use of it and go see it.
It is best to remember that this film is pre-economic breakdown and surely many of the perks are gone. That said, the September issue is really an unfolding mystery story about a woman with little talent who manages to become the editor of the most popular fashion magazine in the world. The documentary is also a war story between two minds, Wintour and Coddington's. Wintour is the general, so she gets to decide and in general, no pun intended, she makes bad decisions. It is impressive that the documentary got made and that Wintour, who must have seen it was OK with the image its portrays of her because, the source of her power, her editorship are nowhere to be found. Wintour behaves like a celebrity because when the veil is drawn, there is not much there. Her visual sense is tired and the manner in which she makes her decisions, with wimp art director Charlie Churchward, is appalling. It is one of those ongoing ironies that editors get to claim the honors for their magazines, when the real visual artists, in this case, Grace Coddington, have to play second fiddle to people so clearly less talented. The only one to escape this fate was Fabion Barone, who having worked for Harper's Bizaar, actually is seen as the force behind the success of the magazine. The other elephant in the room about this documentary is that no one seems very happy. Anna clearly is depressed about being seen as a lightweight in her family (i.e.,fashion), even her own daughter, while clearly enjoying the riches of her mothers fame, doesn't "get it." Grace and her weathered face tell it all: it is torture to work with his talentless woman called the editor and all the minions run around in fearof what exactly is the real question...which reveals Anna's only real talent and power she has: the ability to fire people.
The September Issue is a superficial look into the making of the
September 2007 issue of Vogue. Many of the shots consist of various
photographers, art directors and members of the editorial staff
behaving in a groveling and subservient way around editor-in-chief Anna
Wintour. The one exception is stylist Grace Coddington, a confident and
gifted woman who does superb creative work and isn't afraid to stand up
for herself. Her work really is the backbone of the magazine. Once she
leaves, Vogue is on a fast ride downhill. Wintour's insights, as she
looks at and discusses potential fashion spreads, seem fairly prosaic.
She must have gotten the job by game-playing and the usual machinations
of the business world. Outside of standing back somewhat and letting
Coddington do her work, I don't see what she contributes to the
magazine except for making her staff feel compulsively insecure. I
enjoyed the few scenes that show her with her twenty-something
daughter, who wants to be a lawyer. She clearly has the ability to
"get" to Wintour that no one else in the film does. Good for her.
Wintour talks about her father and siblings, but neglects to mention
her American mother, an interesting omission. Wintour is a lonely
character, in a way. There's a revealing scene of her in the back of a
town car clutching a Starbucks coffee and staring straight ahead. She's
off in her own world most of the time.
As is to be expected, no one on the Vogue staff actually wears the outlandish clothing featured in the magazine. Wintour wears flattering silk dresses, Coddington dresses in various frumpy black outfits and the staff and photographers wear practical work clothes. The exception is Leon Talley, the only member of the staff who truly buys into the fashion myth. Since Wintour reveals so little of herself and the filmmaker is as deferential to her as the rest of her intimidated staff, ultimately "The September Issue" is an elegantly made film with no emotional heart.
The world of fashion is glamorous, absurd, and nowhere more so than at Vogue magazine, where legendary editor Anna Wintour rules with a famously frosty demeanour. 'The September Issue' follows the creation of Vogue's largest ever issue - which sounds as if it should be interesting, but which actually feels like a lost opportunity. There's no analysis of the finances or logic of fashion; no discussion of Vogue's rivals; or any attempt to debunk the myth of Wintour as ice-queen. Maybe this is because the myth is reality; but there's also a strong sense that director R. J. Cutler hasn't tried very hard, that he had his story before he started and was quite happy to shoot it deferentially. Wintour herself provides few real clues in some unrevealing interviews, and while she is plainly tough, she glides through an affluent world apparently insulated from anyone in whose interests it might be to answer her back, so it's a limited sort of toughness. Certainly Cutler doesn't challenge her; and his film, though watchable, ultimately has very little to say.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This review contains spoilers.
If you think that this is your chance to see a reality Devil wears Prada, you're mistaken. The hype would have us think that September Issue, is our chance to see why the most powerful women in fashion is where she is: because she is a tough, ball breaking, taking no prisoners Thatcher of fashion. HA!!!! This feels like a three year long promo for Anna Wintour as the best dressed, calmest, ever so slightly distant boss in the world. Not just because they never show her dumping all over her assistants, or smirking at the little people, which really would be delivering the hype, but there are none of that species actually in the whole painful saga. Instead it's A.W walking about with her rigormortis bob, and an almost insipid smile on her face. At the most, there is a little boredom and sarcasm, in her coiffed eyes. Septeber Issue is just a big boring journey around her office, some photo shoots, and a meeting with the rather interesting and clever thatch headed gingernut, Grace Goddington. But I have seen more tension and excitement in an elastic band. I can't even be bothered to carry on, i was literally sweating with ADD an hour before the merciful credits roll. I WAS JUST NOT THAT INTO IT. Oh, and it's not even Anna Wintour who says mean things about Sienna Miller.
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