I jumped at the chance to go to a preview screening of The September Issue this week and it didn’t disappoint. What a wonderful peep at the characters in the most famous fashion book of all.
Our flame haired heroine Creative Director Grace Coddington was fighting for art and beauty against the evil baddie Anna Wintour who has to sell more magazines. Everyone watching fell in love with Grace’s down to earth character, friendly manner and creative genius. She is a die-hard romantic with an old fashioned aesthetic “everybody seems to like things pin sharp, I think it’s a shame” she sighed when yet another of her beautiful softly focused pictures was pulled from the magazine.
Anna and Grace at the shows
Then we had Andre Leon Talley, the Editor-at-Large and he really was larger than life. A comedy fashion character who reassured us that hilarious fashion stereotypes were not created just for Tyra Bank’s model judging panel! Andre provided the light relief, as we watched him trying to play tennis decked out in bling and Louis Vuitton accessories. Andre verbalised and dramatised everything, sweeping into rooms and making huge statements about models and pictures such as “There is a famine of fashion… I can see it in her eyes, she is STARVING.” How very and literally true.
Anna Wintour, in true villain style, came across as a complex character with deep rooted issues. She might be the most powerful woman in fashion, but like most of us, she is still seeking the approval of her family who she sadly admits ” … are (forced smile) … amused by what I do.”
What was the most telling, was Anna’s general body language: a classic defensive pose with arms folded. She came from a family where affection was rationed and it has made her frosty to say the least. Well they don’t call her ‘Nuclear Wintour’ for nothing. The film gave the impression that the people at Vogue didn’t want to be around her for longer than necessary and the only time she seemed to thaw was around her daughter, whom she clearly adores.
The film was littered with creative disagreements but no one was captured completely losing it. Instead there was lots of simmering and silent fury; a case of passive aggression with a few choice words to convey an opinion. Perhaps they screamed at each other when the cameras weren’t running. I’d like to think so but I suspect that all that pent up frustration is released in the local work boozer near Vogue HQ.
September Issue Trailer