Saturday, March 13, 2010
the september issue

This documentary,"The September Issue", is a wonderfully exciting very artfully done film. If you are unfamiliar with it, it is about the putting together of the September 2007 issue of Vogue Magazine--the largest issue ever, of this very famous magazine, weighing in at almost five pounds....The principal players are it's well known Editor, Anna Wintour, who it is said was the 'model' for the character that Meryl Streep played in "The Devil Wears Prada", who has the last and final word on everything that goes into the magazine. And the second principal character is one of Vogue's top Fashion Editors also known as 'Creative Director', Grace Coddington-----
---an amazingly passionate women who loves what she does and in Anna Wintour's words, " a Genius..".

Let me say, I am not a reader of Vogue and I never have been, but of course, I have been aware of it for practically my entire life. It is the most important Fashion Magazine of the 20th and now, the 21st Century. It has gone through many ups and downs and once Anna Wintour became The has been all "UP" from there.....The Director-Filmmaker of "The September Issue", R.J Cutler, has created a completely fascinating study with this film. One does not need to be a 'fashionista' to be completely enthralled with this very beautiful film. I think it certainly helps if one has the soul of an artist because everything about the film is "artful" in every way. Personally, I found Anna Wintour a rather hidden person. You do not always really know what she is thinking or feeling---She often has this impassive stern look on her face....Not so with Grace Coddington. Grace is very open and honest in her opinions and her passion for her work and her artistry are evident in almost every scene she is in. The thrust of this particular film is really about these two strong opinionated 'artists' and their symbiotic relationship. and how much they both care about the end result of every issue of Vogue---though this film concentrates on just this one issue---The September Issue---the film is really kind of a template for what goes into each and every issue of Vogue. Anna in the first picture above is at her desk, meeting with some of the people who work on each issue. And just below that, Grace, choosing some clothing for one of the photo shoots she has created and is responisble for.....I ended up watching the movie twice---the first time just as one would see it in a movie theatre, and the second time listening to the Director's Commentary, which enriched the film for me in a huge way. I love the process of Film Making and I am particularly fascinated by Documentaries, having put together a number of them myself. (Above: Anna & Grace at a Fashion Show...Grace taking notes on every piece.....) I came away from this film so filled with the fascination of this very particular world---the Fashion Designers, the clothes themselves, all the people it takes to produce everything that goes into an issue of Vogue......(Below, Anna W. with the great Fashion Photographer Mario Testino, in Rome I believe......)All the photographers and the photo shoots themselves in Paris and Rome and New York....It is absolutely beautiful in every way....Below, Grace C. taking in the Beauty of Versailles--seeing at as only an 'artist' would see it......To me, the most fascinating thing is how these two women need one another and depend on one another to turn out the beauty that is called Vogue Magazine. And the respect they have for one another even though they very often do not agree and clash and struggle with each other. A fascinating relationship. Grace Coddington was a Vogue model starting back in 1959 so her association to the magazine is a fifty year commitment.
After a terrible auto accident and quite a lot of plastic surgery on her eyes, she continued to model for a time but then moved into the behind the scenes work as a Fashion Editor in charge of many of the Photo layouts. She worked for Vogue in the UK for almost twenty years in this capacity and has worked for Vogue in the United States for more than twenty years, having been recruited by Anna Wintour when she became Editor-In-Chief....Anna W. started out as a model, too.....And her career with Vogue is a very long one, as well. She has been the Editor here in the United States for twenty years, having worked for British Vogue and then here in the United States at number of other magazines, including HG and New York Magazine. Both women were born in England. Grace in Wales and Anna in London, I believe. And both of these women have devoted their working lives to fashion.Anyone interested in the creative process should see this film. Mr. Cutler has done a magnificent job of distilling 320 hours of film down to under two hours----a Herculean feat, let me tell you. His passion for the subject is evident as is everyone's who is connected to the making of the film. And all the Vogue people are so devoted to the task at hand...I found it incredibly inspiring. The cinematography is magnificent. Beautiful in every way and it is of the highest order complimenting the beauty of the subject perfectly! This is a film not to be missed, and most especially because of the inscrutable Anna Wintour and the artistry and honesty of Grace Coddington---both really amazing women!
Put this film on your Netflix Queue or go see it in a theatre, if you can find it.....I liked it so much, I bought the special DVD version with two discs of "extras" covering lots of footage that couldn't be inculded in the film....I can't wait for it to arrive......! (Below: Grace with Karl Lagerfeld...)(Below: Anna with Oscar de la Renta......)
A rather rarefied world filled with wonderfully creative people who also happen to be real......That is the best of the nest!

More To Come........

Links to this post:


Blogger Pat
had this to say:

I don't know how but I have see parts of this film and I particularly remember Grace's frustration at not getting Anna's
agreement over certain photos and garments and the time when Sienna Miller came to try out various looks.
It was quite riveting to see two such redoubtable women (Anna and Grace) coming head to head. They are both courageous - I remember Anna braving the anti-fur terrorists with some dead animal slung round her neck and Grace's fortitude after her accident.
I think they need each other - a bit like The Odd Couple.
Great post Naomi:)
And doesn't Anna look great? And Grace looks as if she has stepped out of a Pre-Raphaelite painting.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 2:49:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I always admire creative people even if I don't admire what they've created. Does that make sense?

I've noticed in many photos Anna Wintour looks very controlled and doesn't like to express her feelings too much, I kind of find that appealing.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 4:38:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I never would have discovered this film without your review - can't wait to see it! Despite the fact that I never wear anything but jeans, I have a passion for fashion (don't tell anyone, but my favorite tv show is Project Runway).

Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 6:35:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Wow, what a fun review! I feel like I've been there already. I had not heard of this film but it looks beautiful, and I agree that these are two fascinating women. I love all the photographs, thank you. After this wonderful peek, I think I shall see if I can get the adorable husband (he who is in charge of Netflix) to order this one.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 7:58:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I will get this film. I have never read Vogue, but it has been coming to my home for 30 years. My partner loves fashion and the crative process involved. She will adore this movie. (She probably already has it in out Netflix que.) Your post has me worked up to see it too.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 8:01:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Although Vogue is not on my list, (I spend too much time with Backpacker), the documentary sounds interesting. Good documentaries take a subject and make it intriguing to those of us who've never thought twice about what's being shown. Given that I'm now intrigued, this one sounds like a success.


Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 8:36:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

The only time I have ever paged through Vogue is at the hairdresser. I know nothing of these women except what I saw in The Devil Wears Prada, but I know that the movie must be good if it details their creative process.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 at 8:51:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I would love to see this film having worked in the 'rag trade' long ago. Thank you for the glimpse!

Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 12:18:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I remembered when I was a teenager I have to save money to buy Vogue Mag because it is directly from the US and I was fascinated by the fasion world :D

It is so interesting to see your post on this and about Anna & Grace :D

Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 3:03:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I just read a review of this film on another blog
the young woman who went to see it loved the aspects covering fashion photography and how it is a art regardless of how commercial it is

these photos are wonderful!!
I'll look for the film

Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 7:38:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Ily
had this to say:

How can anyone come away from this post not wanting to see this film?? I'm not a fan of Vogue, but like LL Cool Joe says, I can appreciate the art without loving it. The process, what goes on behind the scenes, the passion of the artists...all these things are appealing by themselves.

I will add this to my queue, of course, and let you know how I like it. It'll be a while since my son and daughter are getting into Netflix now and are moving their selections to the top of the list w/out telling me! lol

Happy Sunday, my friend! I hope to talk with you again soon!! xo

Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 8:04:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

That sounds fascinating and I'll definitely find it for netflix. I have subscribed to Vogue off and on through the years although not for some time now. I do find creative processes to be interesting.

Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 10:19:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

This is a great review of the film. I just saw it on DVD Friday and it put me in a wonderful, inspired mood. Loved seeing the creative process unfold.

Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 5:47:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love documentaries too and am happy that a magazine can still be successful in this digital age. I'm sure I would like the film.

Our Cafe del Sol just closed, just did a tribute where your famous call to me while playing Scrabble there is mentioned.

Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 5:49:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I HAVE to see this film. Thanks for the great post and recommendation!

Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 7:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I have never been a reader of Vogue but I have to say that this film sounds very interesting!

I think it's so creative the ideas for films that people come up with.

Thanks for the great review Naomi!

Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 10:47:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Like kenju, I only read Vogue at the hairdressers. Five pounds issue, yikes.
Your review is enough to have me put it in my queue. Thanks

Monday, March 15, 2010 at 5:50:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Now I have to watch the film! We think that colleagues and partners in life have to be "the same"- yet the synergy of opposite viewpoints- when there is love and respect- can be so much more rewarding- and interesting.

Monday, March 15, 2010 at 10:41:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I leafed through a recent issue in a waiting room somewhere, still annoyed at the emaciated models that are in every ad. Why do they have to use models that weigh 80 pounds and look nothing like a 'normal' woman?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 6:38:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

saw that documentary when it played locally.

it was lively and not overly torqued the way some are. it did feel behind the scenes like a fly on the wall more than most. interesting ladies.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 9:15:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Very interesting Naomi, thanks for the review. They are so different arent they, these two women. Grace doesnt seem to wear makeup and her hair is so wild. And Anna is so controlled looking and perfect in her looks. I must catch this one now as I think I would indeed enjoy it.

Monday, March 29, 2010 at 11:46:00 PM PDT 

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