Wintour Issue

The most remarkable thing about “The September Issue,” R.J. Cutler’s documentary about the making of Vogue’s 2007 biggest issue ever, is not Editor Anna Wintour’s botoxed personality, Creative Director Grace Coddington’s unexpectedly fresh, funny and genuine presence, or the surprising preponderance of older women without makeup running a magazine devoted to beautiful young things with pancake faces. It’s that Wintour, the most influential force in global fashion, has so little to say about the art she embraces.

Wintour is alternately so excruciatingly inarticulate (its takes her  ages to say that her siblings, who work in more socially redeeming fields, find her profession “amusing,” and almost as painfully long to repeat the same observation) and evasive (she dodges questions with weak jokes) that the film never plumbs her relationship to fashion—it merely tracks the way she packages it. There’s zero content in the scenes in which she discusses spreads or selects shots (“too much black”) and she seems barely capable of an extended conversation, much less substantive commentary on the industry she dominates (except for a tantalizing little summary of what was happening in fashion when she became a model in the 60s, in which she actually uses the word “class”—a subject Cutler assiduously avoids.)

You have to wonder if some robotic sensor accounts for the fashion radar that made her famous. Who cares if she’s a smug, self-satisfied, truly unappealing martinet (we wouldn’t hold that against a man in her position of power); what I want to know is, what does Wintour, surely a woman of colossal insight, have to say about fashion?

Tags: , ,