“The Devil Wears Prada” was a box office comedy based on a book by Vogue Editor Anna Wintour’s ex-assistant. The movie depicts a woman driven by power with zero concern for those who do her bidding. The ridiculous demands and ensuing comedy and fashion are unforgettable.
Enter “September Issue.” Camera crews hound a makeup-less, evasive, [now] 71 year-old creative director named Grace Coddington in this Vogue documentary that shows a realistic look at putting out the most iconic fashion magazine of all time. A stylist, photographer, artist and former model, Grace exhibits unparalleled talent when styling shoots and has rightfully earned the unwavering loyalty that Wintour harbors for only a few people in this world. Television interviews or any kind of public attention put Grace into near panic attacks, so I question if her autobiography Grace: A Memoir is an attempt to allay such spectacles for the rest of her life.
Grace’s book takes you on a ride through time, skipping back and forth between current events and the experiences that shape how she views the world around her. We’re shown a naive, small-town girl chasing her dream of working in fashion and the carousel of characters who all eventually become household names (Yves St. Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano). Grace takes you on a journey – witnessing first-hand the fashion industry’s evolution and what she likes and dislikes about where it is now. The highlights are the photos, ranging from the 1940’s to present day with artistic flare and sentiment.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, You might find a hair ball or two (read it, you’ll get it). You might even re-think your assumptions about Wintour as you see her through Grace’s eyes. And if nothing else, you’ll want to see Grace conduct more interviews and perhaps go on a book signing and speaking tour. Wishful thinking?