As I expected, Grace Coddington is the heart of the movie through and through. She represents the artistic and creative sincerity and the salve to Wintour”s sting. Staffers look to her for a sympathetic ear — just picture Edward Enniful sucking on a Jamba Juice like it’s his last cigarette, looking to Grace for a boost after his shoot selection is slaughtered by Wintour.
And the Coddington-Wintour dynamic is really the most important in the film. They are a study in contrast, Grace has a wild, unkempt red mane, Wintour a pristine, well-maintained bob. Grace loves and wears all-black ensembles with geriatric-looking shoes, Wintour (who evidently hates black) dons bold colors and patterns and heels. And of course, Grace wears her heart on her sleeve while Wintour rarely shows a hint of emotion (save for mentions of her father and children).
Though I’d love to write a lengthier, more thought-out piece on the film, Ebert I am not, and my brain is simply pooped from work! But here are some other random observations:
- Mario Testino provides some comic relief, coming off as a fickle, easily distracted photographer. And Sienna Miller is the cover starlet enamoured with fashion yet with hair and teeth too “real” for Vogue‘s aesthetic.
- Wintour is known to have her hand in all the fashion cookie jars but she really is super hands-on! In TSI, She recommends Thakoon Panichgul to a post at the well-paying Mango and arranges a CFDA deal for him with Gap and helpfully makes design/runway presentation suggestions to Lagerfeld and de la Renta.
- How much of a production and costly it all is. A color-blocking shoot starring Raquel and Lily D. is redone completely with Caroline Trentini jumping just days before the issue closes, not to mention the Sienna-Testino shoot is done on location in Rome!
I recommend watching the film if only for the behind-the-scenes look inside Vogue’s offices, some things feel staged but it’s interesting nonetheless. And the DVD with 90 minutes of never-before-seen footage!