Sunday, November 14, 2010

"The September Issue" Review

Blythe and I recently watched the movie, The September Issue, which is a documentary about the making of Vogue's September issue. It was an awesome movie that we both really enjoyed! Because I was watching it through the computer, I made print screens of outfits I liked, which I'll share with you all later, probably in a few separate posts since there's a lot of them. 

But anyway, on to my review of The September Issue

Sorry this image is so small. I couldn't get it any larger without it getting grainy. 

Because they always do this in movie reviews, I'm going to give it a letter grade: A-
The only reason that I gave it a minus is because there were a few things that I would have wished the documentary would have gone more into depth about because I was left with some questions afterward. 

The September Issue (2008), directed by R. J. Cutler opened with an interview with Anna Wintour, which I felt was a brilliant way to start. So many people paint Ms. Wintour as an evil woman, it was nice to begin with some words from her. This opening made Ms. Wintour seem likable, like a first person narrator is in a book. When you read a book in first person, you want to relate to that person. They are your familiar face throughout the movie at first. Showing parts of the interview with Ms. Wintour had the same effect. At least to me it did. 

As the documentary went on, I was amazed by some of the things that they mentioned. I hate to say this, but I  somehow never connected Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington as colleagues. I know, I know, it's really sad, especially for someone like me who feels they are somehow and somewhat qualified to write a fashion blog. In my defense, I recognized them both. Immediately. I knew they were both editors (I think). I just didn't remember they both worked at the United States Vogue. But in all of this, what I found most interesting about the relationship between Ms. Wintour and Ms. Coddington was that they started work on the exact same day. The very same. It makes me wonder what their individual job goals were. If Ms. Coddington got the position she wanted, or if she had higher aspirations and Ms. Wintour got there first. My own questions aside, it was interesting to see how this creating a relationship between the two women. While everyone else followed Ms. Wintour's directions religiously, Ms. Coddington did what she felt was right. As Ms. Coddington said, they are both very stubborn. It was very interesting to see that while Ms. Wintour does have a great deal of power and responsibility that comes with a position such as hers, she is still limited. 

A huge difference between the two was also shown between the two women when it came to other people's bodies. During the couture shoot, the model expressed that while the pastries in a box nearby looked absolutely delicious, she worried about not fitting into the tight corset if she ate one. Ms. Coddington overheard this and said that it didn't matter. The pastry would have absolutely no effect and to go ahead and eat it, which the model happily did. I really loved to see this interaction in a industry infamous for its obsession with perfection and weight. 

In the case involving Ms. Wintour, she remarked to one of the camera men filming the documentary that he needed to go to the gym more since he didn't have a flat stomach. This conversation came about because Ms. Coddington had the idea, which I loved, to have the camera men involved in one of the photoshoots. No, the camera man wasn't a male model, but Ms. Wintour wanted his stomach to be touched up. When Ms. Coddingon heard about this, she called the retouch department and told them not to. Without asking Ms. Wintour. It displayed the interesting dynamic I described in the last paragraph, and I loved a) seeing the way the two different people felt the situation should be handled and b) that the image was left alone. 

What I was left with, besides an overwhelming urge to subscribe to Vogue (nice job, everyone involved. Mission accomplished.), were many questions. 

Ms. Coddington was very frustrated when Ms. Wintour cut many of the shots from her colorblock shoot, and then eventually asked her to do it over again. She mentioned that tens of thousands of dollars were being thrown away, and I couldn't help but wonder where all that money goes. I know that they would have to pay the photographer, model, and for the photos to be touched up, but I wonder if there was anything else. This led me to another question, which is a bit more broad: do magazines buy things from designers to feature in their magazines or do the designers offer the clothes for free since it essentially is advertising? This is actually a question I've been wondering about for a while, but it resurfaced as a result of watching The September Issue.

I also wondered about how Ms. Wintour got her job. She mentioned that her dad told her to write on a form that she would like to be the chief editor at Vogue, but I wonder what the process was to get there. Did she start out like Ms. Coddington and work her way up from the bottom? For both the questions that I had, I do realize that directors and producers only have a limited budget and time frame to fit the movie into, I just wish there was some way to raise these questions. 

Overall, Blythe and I both enjoyed the documentary very much, and would recommend it to anyone else. The images were beautiful, and it was wonderful to get a behind the scenes look at the making of Vogue, especially the photoshoots, and all the work that everything entails. We would love to hear your thoughts on The September Issue if you have watched it, or if you plan on watching it in the comments below!

Have a great rest of the weekend!


The movie poster image is from, and you can reach the link to the movie's page by clicking the photo. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

We love hearing from you guys, so please let us know what you think! All replies will be replied to on your blog. If you don't have/we can't find your blog, responses will be here :)
-Blythe and Charlotte


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...