Fashion documentaries, for some odd reason, are my kind of jam, and The September Issue (2009), so far, is probably my favorite of the bunch! Probably because, as Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington take us through the process of bringing out the Vogue September 2007 issue, the documentary itself is a more in depth view of people in the fashion than the fashion itself.
Recently, I’ve been in a mood to rewatch numerous of my old favorites, and one of those happened to be The Devil Wears Prada. As most of you probably know, the character of Miranda Priestly is inspired by Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue. So it was a no wonder that, after watching The Devil Wears Prada, I wanted to revisit The September issue – a documentary I’ve now seen more than five times!
The portrayal of Anna Wintour is somewhat interesting in The September Issue. Yes, she is shown as a strong, stubborn and a harsh woman, yet she is also respected in her magazine, but most of all, by people in the fashion industry. And while her cold exterior is always there, the breaking point comes when she discusses what her family feels about her job. It is such a real moment in the documentary, telling us that even if people come off cold, it’s always for reasons and sometimes those reasons are pretty heart breaking.
But Anna Wintour is not the only big part of the magazine, Grace Coddington is just as important. As a fashion editor, Grace’s sense of style and work ethic are inspiring, and in the beginning of the documentary, Anna’s coldness towards her is irritating. Grace is nothing but graceful, understanding and talented, and she so often her work is not praised enough. Yet, that itself becomes a surprising plot twist, when Anna decides in the end, that Grace’s work should open the magazine, and her feelings about Grace are finally revealed from her interview.
There are some appearances by celebrities and models of course. Sienna Miller is the cover star of the issue they are creating, and there is a huge issue about her hair. It’s a little funny, cause all the Vogue people are saying that her hair is awful, yet Miller is not willing to do anything about it. But my favorite moment is when an Estonian supermodel Carmen Kass makes an appearance in one of the adds featured at the event Anna participates in!
So all in all, The September Issue is a fascinating tale of a behind the scenes magazine creation. The people involved might not be the most kind, most pleasant people out there, but they are passionate. Passionate about clothes, accessories, art and self-expression through fashion.