January 28, 2010 0

Grace Coddington kicks Anna Wintour’s Ass

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If you haven’t had the chance to see The September Issue and you have anything to do with the magazine business you really should put it on the top of your Netflix cue. The documentary illuminates the fascinating process of compiling one issue of Vogue Magazine, specifically the September 2007 issue. The filmmakers had unparalleled access to editor Anna Wintour and her staff, which revealed marvelous insights into the concepting and execution of all the fashion stories needed to complete the issue. What lifted the film above the typical behind the scenes piece was the conflict between the overwhelmingly powerful Anna Wintour and the only person willing to stand up to her, the extraordinarily talented stylist Grace Coddington. Wow! What an amazing and wonderful person she is! The two of them go head to head over every photograph, every set, and every piece of clothing and it is fascinating to watch. At one point, without even blinking an eye, Anna kills one of the most expensive and elaborate images from a story that Grace had poured her heart into. A $50,000 production, cut out on a whim, in one of the more egregious displays of the Conde Naste culture of extravagance that I’ve ever seen. Not that I don’t understand the underlining logic of why shots get killed and why sometimes money gets wasted. For a more down to earth example, consider our America Ferrera shoot. We decided to rent a chaise lounge for the simple reason that we wanted to provide a comfortable and elegant space for America to be in, with the hopes that we could also create some beautiful horizontal images for our opening spread. So I went and did the whole prop scouting tour of Eclectic Encore and Props for Today, renting a gorgeous couch for $400 and then ended up killing the shot because it just didn’t work. Go figure. Maybe Anna was right?

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