Most of us have seen or at least are familiar with Meryl Streep’s portrayal of fictional character Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada” that was based on the book by Lauren Weisberger. I read the book and saw the movie when they came out, respectively, and became deeply intrigued by all of the things I had never really thought about regarding the fashion industry. I have never really considered myself to be a “fashion forward” girl and though I strive to look put together and polished, keeping up with specific seasonal trends has never been a high priority.
Reading/watching “The Devil Wears Prada” was incredibly enlightening and I was awestruck by the millions of dollars, hours and talent that is wrapped up in the fashion industry. The designers are truly artists in their own right and it is fascinating to see the way human beings become objects, literal breathing/living mannequins for the designers to enact their art.
Of course, being a new young professional in the nonprofit field, the fashion industry is not something I can relate to or consider to be a priority in my life, but I always think back to the part in the film when Miranda (Streep) explains to the vigilante and feminist Andy (Anne Hathaway) the impact fashion/art/designers have had on what she is wearing. Even though Andy considered herself to be “above” the worldly/materialistic elements of the fashion world, she is still participating in it because the clothes she is wearing were designed by someone. And, that someone was an artist.
All that being said, I watched “The September Issue” last night that is a documentary following the journey of Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour as the magazine prepares to create its largest September issue in history. I mention “Devil Wears Prada” because the character of Miranda Priestly is supposedly based on Wintour. When watching her mannerisms and the way she works as editor of one of the leading fashion magazines in the world, the similarities are undeniable. She is cold and unreachable but she is also amazingly talented and revered for her ability to predict and eye trends for the fashion industry.
The author of “Devil Wears Prada” actually worked as an assistant for Wintour before writing her book.
The film was fascinating. Wintour is almost a caricature of herself and her trademark Chanel glasses always worn at fashion shows, her slender frame and abhorrence of the color black in her wardrobe are readily identifiable. I think the thing I took away from the film and that I used to educate myself is the artistry that goes into creating an issue of Vogue.
Grace Coddington, the Creative Director for Vogue, (a saucy ginger, I might add!) is truly a genius and an artist. The pictures and storyboards she creates for the magazine look like works of art and it was amazing to watch her work.
I may see clothes as something I wear to look nice, that might be too materialistic for the international emphasis they receive, or that put pressure on women in particular to achieve a certain look or body type, but the fact is that these designers, photographers, directors are artists with amazing talents and should be appreciated on that level. The next time I pick up a Vogue or InSTYLE to relax and spot new trends in the upcoming seasons, I will definitely carry a greater appreciation for the work and talent involved in creating what really are works of art.