See: The September Issue

One of life’s little pleasures is going to movies alone. I like to punctuate my weekend with a lovely solo sunday evening movie. This time I took a break from my NY Fashion Week stalking to catch The September Issue, a documentary which takes us inside the makings of VOGUE’s biggest issue ever and gives us a rare glimpse at the wonder that is Anna Wintour.

I loved the movie, to me it was like fashion porn: NY Fashion Week, Paris Couture shows and designer cameos from Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta and Thakoon. While I am a big fan of fashion and a lover of fashion mags, I was never really a VOGUE girl but after seeing this film, I have a newfound love and respect for the magazine (I even kind of appreciate its defiance and refusal to change its content during the recession—VOGUE is not accessible, it is aspirational!). I have always liked Anna Wintour and had a general respect for her as a business woman and I never really bought into the hype that she is an ice queen or uber bitch. The woman runs the most influential magazine in the game and one of the most influential magazines in the world, pardon her for not warming up to you by discussing the results of American Idol. I watched her on David Letterman and found her quite pleasant and with a sense of humor and The September Issue proves that she is multifaceted and very well respected by colleagues in the fashion world. Who else can make world renowned designers literally shake in their boots at the thought of presenting her their collections? That woman demands respect. I kind of want to be her.

I was particularly drawn to the genius creative director Grace Coddington who began working at VOGUE the same time as Anna Wintour. She is the creativity behind the beautiful fashion spreads. Her vision and ability to take an idea and implement it into a beautiful layout is like a maestro leading a symphony. It is Grace who turns what is just a picture of a girl in expensive and outlandish clothes, into a story. Her vision often clashed with Anna’s but you could see where each person had a valid point. Anna in one scene ditched a photo that Grace was particularly attached to (and it was absolutely stunning) but Anna didn’t feel that it was cohesive with the overall fashion spread (which I happened to also agree with).

Perhaps the most telling aspect of the film was the humanity behind Anna Wintour. Seeing her interact with her daughter Bee Schaffer (who is adamant about not going into her mother’s business) was refreshing. This is a woman who loves her daughter and not so secretly sees that she has an editorial eye and would love for her to follow in her footsteps. Bee is clearly a daughter who loves her mother but has carved out her own interests and identity.

Overall the movie was wonderful. It is a great inside view at an industry that is often criticized. No fashion is not rocket science, but it is a bit more than clothes: fashion is art. It is art, it is inspiration and it is creative expression at its finest. And it is fun! I mean yes some of the stuff coming down the runways and the stuff  in magazines is outlandish, but who cares? It is fun, it is like playing dress up…for grown ups.

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