the september issue

The September Issue
Documentary by R. J. Cutler

The doors were thrown open at American Vogue and the inner workings exposed for the creation of the September Issue 2007 in this slick documentary. It chronicles the task of putting together what is the bible for Mercedes Fashion Week headed by famous Editor-In-Chief, Anna Wintour, and predominantly her Creative Director, Grace Coddington.

One can’t help but be reminded of the book and subsequent film in 2006, The Devil Wears Prada. I personally found the novel flat, gossipy and schmaltzy, and burdened by unending descriptions of clothing ranges. Although author Lauren Weisberger has never confirmed, it is a widely held belief that her character of Miranda Priestley is modeled on Wintour. Fortunately screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna was able to craft a slick screenplay out of the novel, and mold Miranda into a character of substance and depth that is completely lacking in the novel, and brought to life with great aplomb by Meryl Streep.

So now, comes The September Issue – a real look into the Fashion World at American Vogue, and primarily the relationship between Wintour and Coddington that has lasted for over twenty years. It almost reeks as a response to The Devil Wears Prada, undeniably hitting it’s target. Wintour is sharp, cutting and ruthless in her pursuit in gaining what she wants for the September 2007 Issue. Coddington is creative, wistful, and shows a spark of genius in realising an idea for a photo she dreamt up in the corridor. Coddington believes in taking inspiration from everything around her … even the documentary film crew.

The documentary is well paced and gripping tale. It is not weighed down by the fashion itself, but we certainly are exposed to more than enough for those interested. There are fashion icons, diva moments, subdued dummy spits, and that’s all before lunch. Do these two women even like each other? Who is to say! But definitely they have a mutual respect that is the glue of their working relationship.

Fashionista the world over will enjoy this documentary.

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