The Real Devil Wears Prada
Vogue. The word that inspires women to become better. The word that inspires hatred in some, and dreams for others. Why is this piece of fashion history and future so intimidating to some, while cherished by others? This is exactly what the documentary The September Issue will help us to understand.
Filmmaker, R.J. Cutler, decided he wanted to dive into the fashion world after reading about the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Ball. But he didn’t take baby steps into this intimidating world, instead he went straight to the head of the beast herself, Anna Wintour, the seemingly cold and business forward head editor of Vogue Magazine. This documentary follows the team at Vogue in the behind the scenes making of their biggest issue yet, the 2007 September issue. From the creative meetings behind the photo shoots, the cutthroat previews created for Anna, the editing and rushing behind the finalization of the issue; this film takes you through it all. It reveals so much more about this world than we thought we knew.
Who would want to watch this real life The Devil Wears Prada? The mass consumers and followers of fashion today. The bloggers, the models, the students studying fashion, those who are hoping to get into the business, and even those who hate the business. The follow for this world is enormous, and we have seen success already with this type of film with the release of Valentino: The Last Emperor, having opened in March, and still played in theatres in New York and Los Angeles five months after it’s release.
“Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you.”-Grace Coddington,Creative Director
The epic Vogue issue you see in the film is much different from the one you would see today, because of a reduce in consumer demand. This lead to less advertisement, and more budget constraints, as we see today in a much shorter of Vogue issues rather than the record breaking September 2007 issue that had 840 pages. (link to NY Times) Inspiring or terrifying viewers may have be the reason behind this film. While there were only so many scenes in which we could see the intimidation Anna has over many of her staff, we also saw the respect between members as each one was gifted at their specific job. For example we hear the inspiring story of how Grace Coddington, the Creative Director at Vogue, went from a common girl in a small town in Wales, to a cover model for British Vogue, and then junior editor to where she is now. Along the way, she and Anna lived together, making their aspirations for this world a reality. Many of the emotional one-on-one interviews we see also have slow, sad music playing in the background, further tugging at our emotions. The cover of the film is enough to make you want to see it as it highlight both the world know Vogue Magazine, and its infamous editor, Anna Wintour. The colors it uses play off of the same ones used in the poster for The Devil Wears Prada; a film released in 2006 showing a more theatrical version of what happens behind doors of a popular fashion magazine.
"Fashion isn’t about looking back, its always about looking forward" -Anna Wintour, Head Editor
Walking through the different office rooms, and closets of Vogue, I felt as thought I was the one filming this documentary. Cutler shot the film in a way that made you feel as thought you were personally involved in the lives of those at the magazine, especially Grace and Anna. Using segments of filmed meetings, photo shoots around the world, as well as interactions and personal interviews with team members, this film was made authentically, making Vogue seen for what it truly is: a masterpiece.