Friday, September 11, 2009

September Issue

Anna Wintour Unmasked

All is revealed at Vogue in "September Issue."

Vogue magazine is never a publication that has interested me, but the colorful cast of characters who make it happen certainly are entertaining.
"The September Issue" centers on the making of the largest Vogue edition in its 114 years: the whopping 646-page September, 2007 issue.
Documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler follows the year-long journey of production, from initial planning sessions through fashion shows, photo shoots and interviews with designers, culminating with the frantic last week of editing and proof.
At the calm center of the maelstrom about her is Anna Wintour, the British-born editor of the American Vogue for more than 20 years. Wintour customarily wears large dark glasses indoors and out, but Cutler catches her in candid moments when the shades are lowered: in heated battle with fellow Brit and longtime creative director Grace Coddington and in maternal discussions with her non-fashionable daughter Bee. If there is a hero in the tale, it is the stoic, ever tolerant Coddington, like Wintour a one-time model.
Along the way we meet such flamboyant characters as fashion maven Andre Leon Talley, rising Thai designer Thakoon, various name-brand designers in France and Italy, and of course beautiful young women by the score in strange outfits and outlandish makeup.
"September Issue" does not make me want to run out and buy a copy of Vogue, but I do respect the effort it takes to create such a fleeting, illusory world.