This week at university, we were shown the documentary 'The September Issue'. The September Issue is undoubtedly one of my favourite ever fashion documentaries which follows legendary Editor-in-Chief at American Vogue, Anna Wintour, and the rest of the creative team during the production of one of the largest September issues to date.
The documentary is truly insightful and provides a holistic look at the production of one of the most important issues of Vogue in the fashion calendar, giving an exclusive look behind the doors of the infamous Vogue office. It reveals how Wintour became one of the most powerful women within the fashion industry and shows, in my opinion, just how much influence she has, making revolutionary decisions which turn the fashion industry on its head - noted in the documentary as her decision to start featuring celebrities on the cover of Vogue, a notion previously unheard of.
Ironically another of my favourite films is in fact 'The Devil Wears Prada', with fictional editor of Runway magazine believed to be based on Wintour. I feel that The September Issue can perhaps be viewed as an attempt to humanise Wintour in backlash to her unfavourably portrayal in The Devil Wears Prada, most evident in the scenes with Wintour and her daughter. Of course there are some minor similarities between Priestly and Wintour, both come across as, dare I say, a little frosty and impatient. However, I cannot help but like Wintour and have nothing but the utmost respect for her after having watched the documentary. Her job is extremely demanding, forcing her to be decisive and have a clear creative direction and image for the magazine, which some may take the wrong way and simply find her bossy - which could not be more wrong. I find her intriguing and a strong, independent, driven woman who I can't help but to admire (and someone I would most definitely invite to my imaginary dinner party).
Within the documentary we are also introduced to Anna's righthand woman, Creative Director Grace Coddington. It seems that Coddington is truly the antithesis of Wintour, with a very different approach to fashion, as director R. J. Cutler notes, "Anna is all about the 'next', and Grace is most interested in a historical perspective on art and fashion." This is evident within the documentary during Coddington's 1920s inspired photoshoot in which the end result is truly romantic and almost fairytale-like. Sally Singer summaries within the documentary Coddington's view of fashion, commenting that, "She comes from the idea that fashion is this world of play and make believe. It's as if someone's gone to the dressing up box and found the most wonderful, personal things and put them together." This is a quality which I truly admire in Coddington and the documentary shows that she really is a creative genius.
Overall, The September Issue is a must watch for any avid fashion lover as it provides an intimate, and at times humorous, look behind the world's largest fashion publication and its leading figures.