Struck down by a classic all-day hangover, I headed for my local DVD store* and was so excited to get my pods on The September Issue, the documentary film that chronicles the making of the famous September 2007 issue of Vogue. A friend was telling me about it last night, so I was overjoyed to nestle on the couch with all my hangover creature comforts (which always vary but which are invariably weird – today it was a huge vat of roast veg followed by a Magnum Death by Chocolate) and soak up Anna Wintour’s Anna Wintourness and Grace Coddington’s creative genius.
Having seen The Devil Wears Prada and read a lot on Wintour’s infamous haughtiness, I was most satisfied with her level of sharp-bobbed coolness and perennial Chanel-shouldered uniform. I like the tiny fraction of humour that she allows to seep into her day-to-day dealings with all the other Voguelites.
Vogue is her kingdom and she rules it as such – not even her contemporaries (i.e: Vogue Creative Director Grace Coddington) are treated as equals. Coddington comes closest, and is the only Voguelite fierce and feisty enough to push back. Her fiery mane is the ultimate vehicle for her stubborness and commitment to her art – the lush visual narratives she wends, despite Wintour’s criticisms and cullings. In one day alone, Wintour meets with Jean Paul Gaultier, Mario Testino, Oscar de la Renta and Thakoon, each of whom are eager to please. As one of her colleagues says, there is not one area of the fashion world that Anna does not control or influence. Another colleague calls her ‘the Pope’ of Vogue. I must say I was little disappointed that the cover girl for the famous issue turned out to be Sienna Miller – even though she was quite the It Girl of the time (2007), I was hoping for someone more weighty.
Googling Vogue covers turned up such beauties, one of my favourites being the Julianne Moore cover, where she is wearing leopard print panties and the bluest blue. I tend to like the racier covers, like this French Vogue calendar cover:
If you haven’t seen The September Issue yet, go rent it. I just loved how Grace Coddington called the most exquisite, fur-trimmed couture dresses ‘cute’ – to be constantly surrounded by examples of the most outlandish, transcendent clothing… I’d be delirious. They’d have to pry the Galliano from my bloodless fingers.
* The Red Sofa in Vredehoek, it rocks, and the guy that works there really knows his movies, plus they play great music in the store. Today they were having a Modest Mouse marathon!)