Whilst we all wait with baited breath for the release of The September Issue, the documentary chronicling Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s preparations for the 2008 fall-fashion issue, we thought we might bring another opinionated fashion editor to your attention.
Okay, so she may be fictional, but we reckon the character of Maggie Prescott (played by Kay Thompson) from the the 1956 musical film Funny Face could give Ms Wintour a run for her money in the ice queen stakes. We love this scene where she insists on changing the whole issue of the magazine just because it doesn’t have enough ‘Pizazz’ and in doing so, gets women everywhere wearing pink. Everyone, that is, apart from herself; “I wouldn’t be caught dead!”
Funny Face is basically The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty before they were even mere twinkles in their respective creators’ eyes. It’s a tale of an intellectual and ‘unusual looking’ girl, played by Audrey Hepburn (who is the most gorgeous creature that it’s hard to take the whole ‘her face is perfectly funny’ thing seriously) who agrees to model for a magazine with the secret hope that she might go to Paris and meet her philosophical hero Professor Flostre. Once the flirtacious photographer, played by Fred Astaire, gets involved well… we all know how Ugly Duckling type tales end!
The film is a visual treat, with wild dance scenes and the makers totally revelling in Technicolor technology. The Fred Astaire character is loosely based on brilliant fashion photographer Richard Avedon, who provided a number of the photographs seen in the film, and the iconic fashion shoot scenes have provided inspiration in many fashion spreads since.
Well… we still can’t wait for The September issue, but watching this film in the mean time staves off the craving just a teensy bit. And it gets us wondering if perhaps the Vogue offices could be lightened up a little if they were to break out into song a couple of times a day.