I watched this film (The Semptember Issue) yesterday.
All I basically knew about Anna Wintour before was what I snapped from the discussions about the film The Devil Wears Prada which is based on Lauren Weisberger's novel. Lauren Weisberger was, as you might know, Anna Wintour's assisant and allthough the resemblance of Andy Sachs and the author herself was never officially confirmed it is widespread that there must be some truth about the whole story. And it makes sense, doesn't it? How could anybody be successfull in such a job as chief-editor of the US-Vogue, if he/she were not a hard, cold and demanding person? And doesn't the business itself cries for such an person?
The world of fashion is unjust, superficial, decadent, authoritarian, inhibited, luxurious. It is about money, diszipline and favor. And luck is a dominant part of every aspect. So what reasonable person who values equal rights, fair working conditions and freedom, who can accept and tolerate different opinions, could make this industry work? Right, I don't have an immediate answer, either.
As I am judging here, I have to say that I don't have an overall overview nor any reliable insider information. So, I shouldn't actually have an opinion, I am not supposed to have one and I am sure not competent enough for it.
But the thing is, I have one. And wether it's a stupid and irrelevant one, that's for the competent ones to decide. Because I am sitting at the end of it. I would be the one buying Vogue, if I liked that magazine.
Well, what I know about the fashion industry is that poor children in developing countries have to work on some pair of high-fashion brand jeans, otherwise their
family wouldn't be able to survive. And those children can not go to school, to learn and to make their life less miserable in the end because they would find a better-paid job.
So I know that the fashion industry is exploiting children in developing countries and takes away from them their education and their future.
And I know, that the editors of magazines such as Vogue waste inconceivable much money for editorials and shoots and other semi-important things, that won't even be fully published in the end because the hair looks strange or something... Honestly? Does it matter? It sure doesn't matter to the child sewing the jeans in Bangladesh that the hair looks strange, but I' m positive that it matters to it how many years it's family could have lived free of care with the money that was spent on those photographs that ended up in the trash.
And: Would the ordinary fashionista really notice the strange hair at all? I bet, she wouldn't!
See, with Vogue it's the same like with religion. There is way too much respect for it because the system is working so well. Pray to God, or pray to Vogue, it is, when it is stylized, the same concept: The fashion industry is your religion. The Vogue (especially the US-Vogue) is your church. You pay for it, and with it (church/Vogue), you're in the system, you're in the group. You only get God when you go to church. Those two are bent together. The God of the fashionistas would be Anna Wintour in that case. She rules it all. Designers show her their collections before they show them on the runway shows. Not very free, mh? Whilst on the other hand, being creative is supposed to be the expression of one's personal ideas, feelings, etc, and in my point of view it should be unneccessary to consult anybody else but oneself for that purpose.
Well, back to the church. Fashion is religion, Anna is God, Vogue is the church. Here all fashionistas get to know what Anna wants them to know. And I ask myself:
Why are people letting something like this to be done with themselves? Don't they strive to be as free as possible?
I am not religious and I don't like the Vogue. For several reasons:
First, I don't like the authoritarin character of it. To me, fashion is an art, and when it comes to art, there is no universal opinion about it. There may be a majority and a minority, but what became very clear in the movie The September Issue was, that the US-Vogue is pretty much Anna's personal views, tastes and favourites. But she lets others do the real job for her, she just picks what she likes and is extremely stubborn when it comes to different opinions. Isn't that a shame?? As for me, I think a magazine should have several editors with different opinions equal influence and freedom of dicision-making so that the magazine reflects the variety of designers that want to be noticed and acknowledged.
Second thing I don't like about Vogue is the overwhelming amount of advertisement there is. I must admit, that some advertisement is very well done, but do I have to pay a ridicoulously high price for advertisement that want to lure me into buying something I can't even afford?
Next thing is the fashion industry itself. I woudn't want to buy a magazine that is the support of such an unreal, unfair industry.
I don't consider it very glamourous, wearing a pair of jeans that defrauded some young boy or girl of his education.
So no, I don't like Vogue. I am really interested in fashion but I won't support this cruel system. I think it is a shame and I wonder, why it seems that nobody is aware of what they are doing...
What especially stroke me watching the film yesterday was the absolute paradox the fashion industry bears.
"Fashion is not about looking back. It's always about looking forward. ", Anna said, and she's right. All fashion people are concerned with are the next trends, the next seasons, the new colours, etc, yet the fashion industry itself remains one of the most backwards and fixed institutions, just like the church.
Oh, and btw, Anna Wintour wore Prada at the premiere of The Devil Wears Prada...
EDIT: people I was not that far a way with my statement! We have the first 'confession': click
EDIT #2: found tha illustration today, haha, I obviously wasn't the first who came up with this idea...