Wednesday, September 23, 2009

If you prefer the real thing

The Film : The September Issue (documentary)
The Actual Divas/Divos: Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington, Sienna Miller, Thakoon, Andre Leon Talley and a whole bunch of fashion-obsessed people whose names I neither know nor care about.
The Dealio: Based on the September 2007 issue of Vogue (arguably, the most 'important' magazine issue of the year, and definitely, the One guaranteed to send postal delivery personnel up into the bell tower strictly for the purpose of picking off innocent passersby. It weighs, by trad, between 7 and 10 lbs, see?), this film takes you behind the velvet curtain for a peek at what really goes into the publication of this issue.
If you saw The Devil Wears Prada, then you already know the set-up. Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep- so, yeah, Anna Wintour needs to hit her knees nightly to thank the film-making power brokers for this bit of flattering casting. I'm just saying) is Anna Wintour. Who sat directly behind Meryl during the premier of TDWP, causing this response, from MS: 'All during the movie, I was praying I wouldn't take a stiletto heel to the back of my neck!' Or words to that effect.
Yes, yes, there is insanity, chaos and wild hyperbole...but this is fashion, you know. Neither as frosty, nor as human, as portrayed by Streep, Wintour is a tiny figure who must, surely, have had some face hoist in her past. Face blank and stiff and whisping in a subdued tone, this woman is always right. If you don't believe me, ask any of the multiple toadies who appear to do 180s on their opinions at such warp-speed, one almost fears some sort of permanent damage to the brain. But, then, OK, it is fashion, so why worry about that?
Enter Grace. Just when you thought Wintour could find no one to inform her that the emperor is actually, well, naked, in walks Grace Coddington. Grace-a highly placed assistant editor, is the person who shepherds everyone through the process of bringing out this mag every month with the humor, cynicism, and total lack lack of kowtowing, you realise that you have located the sole rational center of equilibrium in this fun-house ride. Grace was a model, until an MVA put her out of that biz forever. She is the one who says, 'No. That's just wrong' or 'Reeeeeeeaaaaalllllyyyy? Hmmm. That's crap.' Or, significantly, 'She said that, eh? Well, we'll see about that one!' She simply shines forth from the assemblage of glitterati who are first to catch your eye, and quite steals the show from them all. Yes, Anna, even from you! And, oh, yeah, not to lose sleep over this- the Issue came out on deadline and weighed in respectably. Sorry postal carriers everywhere.
The Grading Session: 4.8 starts out of 5. Point 2 stars off because the music was not consistently special enough for that minim of star-age.
Lessons Learned:Multiple. First of all, who says Miranda (sorry, I meant Anna), is always right? Sometimes, it seems that people with power flex their muscle just because they can. It is vital, then, that there be a Grace Coddington in everyone's life. Here's something interesting: the average number of 'content' pages for Vogue remains a pretty consistent 100-130 pages;the remainder of the 900+ are ads, people! Ads! Next: not nearly the posh array of 'do's', shindigs and fun social events one would think. However, on the other hand, it is vastly helpful to have absolutely no social life whatever if you are in this position. So, I guess it all evens out. Lastly, whatever they are paying is not nearly enough.

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