Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Monday, 26 October 2009

The September Issue :: 60 seconds review

"Fashion is a religion and VOGUE is the bible"

Fashion-makers’ popularity has rocketed in recent years, boosted by street style hunters such as Sartorialist and Jak & Jil. Fashion editors and designers have replaced models’ role of fashion icons and erected themselves to the status of celebrities. That’s not all. They are now turning themselves into film stars. The first to lead the way is Ms Wintour, always a step ahead. In The September Issue, the reader is taken into an unprecedented journey into the world of Vogue and frenetic magazine publishing, this time not in fictional form (The Devil wears Prada) but in crude documentary style. 

I was thrilled by the making of the biggest issue of the year. Visits to designers and fashion shows, internal and external meetings, editors’ work and photo shoots and re-shoots followed each other and showed the exciting but intense labour in the run up to the publication of the fall issue. My attention, however, kept going back to HER. Hidden behind a wig-like bob and dark sunglasses, Anna Wintour came across as authoritative but always measured and collected. Her one-word comments, if arguable and glacial, were always unambiguous. In other words, she avoided that fashion jargon you hear so much in the fashion world. I liked that. 

Her decisive demure was counterbalanced by different characters. The flamboyant (André Leon Talley), the dandy (Hamish Bowles) and the ex-model turned creative director (Grace Coddington). This latter was the only one with the guts to stand up to Wintour's  high demands and icy disapprovals. They have worked together for two decades and, despite the differences in personality and opinion clashes, they also show a chemistry which has helped them evolve with the evolution of the fashion industry.

Always incredibly elegant and toned nearly to perfection, Anna also looks very conventional—exactly what is needed to run an institutionalised fashion magazine such as Vogue. Despite all their efforts to support young talents, Vogue remains in fact the bible for the high end of the market and the window for couture fashion. It was Grace's anglosaxon simplicity, non-conformism and talent in pulling together a breathless photo shoot that was revealing and gave the September issue (both in terms of documentary and physical issue) that wow factor. 

"Everybody isn't perfect in this world. I mean, it's enough that the models are perfect..."
Grace Coddington 

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