Monday, April 5, 2010


On this cold, gray, windy, rainy Portland day...aaahhh pretty dreary...I curled up on the couch with a blanket and some left over lamb cake(photo on facebook) to watch The September Issue on Netflix.

The documentary follows
Anna Wintour (editor-in-chief of American Vogue) in the creation of September Issue of Vogue. The film also shows the relationship between Anna and Vogue's Creative Director, Grace Coddington. It's interesting to watch these women who began working at Vogue on the same day create the masterpiece of Vogue each month.

Anna Wintour and Grace respect each other. They understand that both of their talents are vital in producing the magazine, but as their names reveal Wintour is cold and brisk in dealing with people. In the film she jokes with the camera man that some post processing needs to be done on his belly for a photo, and smiling patting her own small frame says he should hit the gym. Balancing Wintour, Grace calls the retoucher and asks that his belly not be touched. She wants the world to see that while models are expected to be perfect the rest of the world can have it's beautiful flaws.

Grace grew in the country side of Wales, she modeled in the 60's, and at 26 her eye was disfigured in a car crash. I wonder if she hadn't had this accident and remained strikingly beautiful if she would have been so nurturing at this point in her career or where her career would be at this point.

Flaws bring beauty. The unusual is what gets talked about and remembered.

I met a model, who has appeared on International Vogue and other publications, while my husband and I traveled in Costa Rica last winter. I remember seeing her on the beach. She was tall, thin, perfect bone structure, and had amazing light eyes with light brown hair. Her beauty made me a little intimidated to talk with her. It made me shy and reserved. Then getting close to her I saw her skin was a little discolored above her lip but not very noticeable. She had a condition caused by the sun...kind of like age spots that would fade when she wasn't so golden brown...It made her human and more touchably beautiful to me in a way I could relate to and approach. She is still one of the most beautiful people I have met inside and out. I would have probably talked to her either way, but for a week in Santa Teresa we became friends.

The hair for Anna and Grace also followed their personalities just as if it would have been written into the script of life. Anna had a tidy, unchanging bob. Perfectly straight, even, precise falling at her chin, and neat, straight across bangs opening up her small face. Her makeup was soft and natural, but definitely applied with precision. Grace has wild, frazzled red hair. At first I wanted to try a bunch of conditioning masks on it or curling/flat irons, but as the film went on I began to love the romantic in her that allowed her to wear hair that's been tousled by the air of European gardens.

It is hard be a part of the fashion world where the outside appearance is always being critiqued. Anna asks her assistant for new ideas instead of always delivering same type of feel in her photographs/ writing for the magazine. Then she proceeds to personally criticize her straight, always the same hair. Anna also criticizes their cover model,Sienna Miller's hair asking to have her wear a wig which didn't work. It is then tied in a clean top knot with some looseness in the top. I thought the style looked youthful and modern in a good way. And, I understand Anna's frustration with wanting the best in every situation. In the end Anna's decisiveness and ability to express it make the magazine great.

The world of fashion is harsh. It's fun. It's beautiful. It's how adults play dress up...thank you for joining me on this rainy Portland day.

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