essential viewing: the september issue

Finally watched The September Issue last week and I loved it! It was very well-done and edited in a clear narrative. Topped the Valentino documentary in the lack of extraneous, dragging scenes.

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!

image: allmoviephoto
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5 Comments

Filed under Fashion, Films, magazines

5 responses to “essential viewing: the september issue

  1. peekaaboo

    Thanks for a swell synopsis Sarah. I haven’t seen it yet and from what you’ve described it sounds really fabulous. I’m told Grace stole the show. Chinchilla scarves will never be the same again!

  2. Maria

    Thank you! I have, have, have to see it. Btw, have you read the book “Fashion babylon”?

  3. sarahdanslenoir

    Hi Jean! Thanks for reading!
    The audience looooved Grace! They would crack up at most of her scenes and seemed to be cheering for her. Hope I didn’t hype it too much but I liked it!

  4. Oh I can’t wait to see it! You’ve made me even more excited! It sounds like I’ll definitely buy it too! Thanks for the info! 🙂

    Also, I was wondering if you’d mind if I put a link to your blog under my list of favorite blogs on my site?

  5. sarahdanslenoir

    I haven’t read it but I’ve been looking for good book recs, I’ll check it out! Thanks!

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