The September Issue: Film Review

“There is something about fashion that can make people very nervous.” (Anna Wintour, 2007). In 2009, we were lucky enough to be given a chance to see the world of Anna Wintour in the film, The September Issue. R. J. Cutler directed the documentary that captured the ultimate behind the scenes experience of creating American Vogue’s one of most famous September issues. In this film, Anna shares with us her strong character, challenges and most importantly, her passion on what it takes to run one of the most influential magazines in the nation. Anna Wintour was predestined to run her Vogue empire. The film gives us a brief overview of her background. Her father was too an editor-in-chief and was exposed at a young age the world of fashion. She has been involved with the magazine since 1988. In time, she has become one of the most influential icons in the fashion industry. We can see how she has gained the respect from the fashion world and many others from designers to politicians. The world knows Anna and she knows the world.

“Fashion is not about looking back. It’s always about looking forward.” (Anna Wintour, 2007). Anna is aware that there will always be change. One, because she has seen it and two, she is always one step ahead of it. With change comes conflicts and resolutions amongst the workplace. The documentary puts us through the eyes of several employees. The one who you cannot forget is Grace Coddington. I was amazed by her work and had very little knowledge of who she was or where she came from. Learning the life of Grace and seeing her work with Anna just made me respect them even more. Their jobs are not just another scrapbook project. The way they understand and disagree with each other shows you how much dedication, patience and love that they have for what they do and what they have been doing for years. They pour themselves in their work and it definitely shows. They are two completely different people, different personalities and complete opposites of each other. However, it’s that push and pull behavior that makes up the heart of Vogue. Running a company like Vogue is full of working under pressure and meeting deadlines that really challenges people and shows you what they are capable of.

I really love how the film is very interactive. For any fashion lover, you can definitely feel they’re emotions or the tension in the room. It has a modern day vlog style of filming. You can see everyone’s perspective and follow their own problems that they face throughout the film. The film is a bit suspenseful as you see them getting closer to their deadline on releasing the issue. This documentary captured the side of Anna that many had not seen before. It’s admiring how she can handle on being a boss, a friend and at the end of the day mother. She gets criticized for being an “ice woman” but dare any of us to be in her place.

Writing in the fashion industry is no joke. Eyes are always on you. The September Issue takes us from beginning to end on the making of the September issue of 2007. Although this was over 10 years ago, everything is still very relevant till today. I think it would be great to see what some of these processes are like now. Are there any new faces or changes? Or what has stayed the same through all this time? I know a lot have questioned, when will Anna step down and when she does, who will be the one to step in her shoes? The role she plays in this world is almost like royalty. She determines what’s in and the rest will follow.

The September Issue has become a classic film. Overall, I definitely gained a lot of knowledge on what it takes to work in the magazine industry and how impactful it can be for the rest of the world. This film can influence anyone even if they are not into fashion. Some find it amusing, however not everyone would be able to do what these people do. It takes a certain person to handle this kind of pressure and responsibility. Everyone has a passion and putting all your energy and believing in that passion is what makes for a great success regardless of what career path you chose. I recommend this film to my younger self and all the other young adults who are struggling to find their true calling.  Can’t wait to see what the future of Vogue will look like.

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