The September Issue

DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 30min


’Tour de force: Wintour

The September issue of American Vogue is a super-duper production: in 2007, the whopping thing would sell 13 million copies. In planning this doco, film-maker R.J. Cutler — the producing force behind 1992’s ripper doco The War Room — was intrigued by both feared-revered Brit Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor-in-chief, and the politics of high-fashion journalism. Yet his potentially spicy material never really ignites.


As the issue slowly comes together, tension in Vogue’s Times Square offices is palpable — in a modulated, professional sort of way. Creative director Grace Coddington is patently frustrated as her spreads are coolly nixed by the boss (incredibly, the two of them have been at this for 20-odd years!). Cutler has great access, accompanying the team on European shoots, to fashion shows and at top-level staff meetings. Camera-wise, there is a lot of weaving through fashion racks and up-close rubbernecking, which is entertaining enough. Wintour, as crisp as iceberg lettuce, is too controlled to work as an in-depth subject, however, and aside from the fabulous André Leon Talley, the staffers are a monochromatic lot. No wonder: they’re probably all worn out.