Documentary maker R.J.Cutler and his crew followed Wintour, below, and the rest of the fashion team over a period of nine months, witnessing firsthand the trials and tribulations of working for the most powerful magazine in the fashion industry and it’s notoriously hard to please editor.
Featuring interviews with key members of the editorial team both in and outside of work, the film sheds a reveling light on Wintour and the highly influential part she plays within the magazine.
What has often plagued Wintour are the rumors of her ‘ice queen’ persona but in The September Issue she comes across as efficient with a no-fuss approach to shoots, designers and the magazine in general. Personal details such as her childhood are revealed and the film even captures her in her Long Island retreat, talking candidly to her daughter, Bee Shaffer, about her career aspirations (Bee wants to go to Law School while Wintour would like to her to get involved with editing). This gives a softening edge to Wintour’ sometimes cutting demeanor.
Film critics have praised the documentary for it’s eye opening glimpse into the fashion industry and as a fashion journalist I also found the insights fascinating. In an interview on salon.com R.J.Cutler commented on being an outsider looking in; “I get to float into these worlds – and I get to float out of them when I’m done. And while I’m there, I get to be curious and fascinated and kind of live in a state of wonder”.
Watching the team try to navigate Wintour’s moods and direction was both humorous and enlightening but for me the real star of the show is Grace Coddington. British model turned journalist turned creative director, Grace started at American Vogue on the same day as Anna and is a force to be reckoned with in her own right. Many of the highlights of the film involve Grace, either as the camera follows her on fashion shoots or as she battles with Wintour to keep her much-loved spreads in the magazine.
The September Issue is a must for any fashionista who loves their magazines and wants a glimpse into the ultimate fashion bible. The film is showing at the Watershed until this Thursday.