The September Issue

Anna Wintour & The Making of Vogue
“There is something about fashion that can make people very nervous.”

The grand hauteur, Anna Wintour, and her very passionate and highly creative staff are closely chronicled making the largest issue of the “Fashion Bible” Vogue ever (weighing over 4 lbs) in this entertaining documentary. The “September Issue” marks the “January” in fashion. Meaning, this is the time of year which marks the rebirth in fashion trends and styles, and when you should supplement your running shoes, hiking boots and crampons with a new pair of 4 inch stilettos.

Wintour’s perfectionist persona was thinly disguised in the 2006 hit film, The Devil Wears Prada, in the over-the-top character played by Meryl Streep. However, exaggerated in the quasi-fictionalize movie, this thought-provoking documentary makes the point that Wintour is the undisputed powerful “Pope” of the fashion industry (it is said there is not a single part of fashion she doesn’t influence) and still firmly holds the reins on a 300 billion dollar industry after twenty-plus years at Vogue (taking the helm of the masthead in 1988).

Grace Coddington, the magazine’s longtime colorful creative director, is a fiery (both in personality and hair-color) presence at Vogue and provides a necessary counterweight to Wintour’s strictly composed demeanor. The two started at the magazine at the same time and it is interesting to see how two strong, opinionated and forceful women have managed to survive and thrive in the same office for over two decades (not dissimilar to keeping a lion and tiger caged together).

With unprecedented access to the Vogue offices, filmmaker, R.J. Cutler, takes the viewer inside an elite world few will ever know. This is a cut-throat world of big personalities and even bigger egos; built on changing ephemeral concepts of beauty with billions of dollars at stake. This is a documentary worth watching for these women are the pioneering adventurers “the movers and shakers” of the fashion industry.

Every day, each of us get dressed and assembles a “look” of some sort. Many women are courageous enough to tackle a marathon or a mountain; but are you willing to take on a marabou around the neckline of your dress? Yes, it’s daring of an entirely different kind, but requires courage nonetheless. You may not be afraid to shoot a few feathers… but are you fearless enough to wear them?
Rent it on DVD.