Sunday, August 29, 2010

lessons learned

Finally, finally, FINALLY I watched The September Issue last night. I know, I've been desperate to see it forever, but it's taken me ages to watch it. After posting the Grace Coddington and Anna Wintour dolls yesterday I felt an overwhelming urge to view the documentary, and oh my, am I glad I did.

See, I've read The Devil Wears Prada, and watched the film more than once {oh, the fashion porn!} so I had my opinions of Anna Wintour, which have undergone a rapid reversal. See, my first job on a magazine was under an editor who scared the living daylights out of me. Every day I'd go home crying and wanting to resign. It was awful. Yet wonderful. She might have been a horror to work for, but she taught me so much. She had an eye for news and what works. She was ahead of trends and expected the best from everyone who worked under her - and sometimes the best doesn't come easily. Sometimes the best has to worked, reworked, and then worked again. Sometimes it involves scratching what you've done and starting all over again.

That's what I saw in The September Issue. An editor and a fashion director who expected the best - which is why Vogue continues to be successful. In their world there's no such thing as 'good enough' - it's fabulous, or it's out. I think that's something to strive for.

You know what else I saw - women who looked fabulous at any age. While Hollywood and so many women in the public eye are kicking and screaming their way to the surgeons office to fight off old age at any cost, these women looked cared-for and refreshingly normal.

Grace Coddington was a breathtakingly beautiful young woman and is now still simply stunning. I adore her wild mane of hair and unmade-up face replete with glorious freckles. Anna Wintour has always had a distinctive look underneath the bob and the glasses - but there's more. You rarely see photos of Anna Wintour smiling, but when you do you realise how beautiful she is. Both women seem to have avoided the botox and the fillers so they look really beautiful rather than unreal.

Looking at the shoots Grace directed was humbling. There's a real art to creating fashion images that linger long after the aperture has closed and she manages to ensure that every single image is exquisite and haunting.

Luckily I've got the DVD for a weekly hire - I'll be watching it over and over to imprint it on my brain to inspire me to greater heights every day.


  1. Ooh I haven't seen it yet, but really want to. You've now inspired me.

  2. My daughter works at a magazine and has been telling me to see this for ages. Thanks for the sounds like a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

  3. Oh it's good isn't it? I saw this when I was 10 months pregnant with Harper and I have seen it again. LOVED it.

  4. Isn't it amazing?
    A dear friend sent it to me when it first came out.
    I fell a little bit in love with Grace Coddington the first time I watched and more so each time thereafter.


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