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JOURNALISM | MAGAZINE ARTICLES | Two fashion-focused, commercial articles. ‘The Real Vogue’ consists of a journalistic film review of the documentary film ‘The September Issue’. ‘From Coco to Karl’ is an informative investigation into Lagerfeld’s takeover of the Chanel empire.


| COLLECTION OF SHORT NOVELS | Three creative, short, Jane Austen-inspired novels which were featured in Darcy magazine. This magazine is themed around romantic fashion, influenced heavily by the countryside and the Austen/Regency era.


| COLLECTION OF FEATURE ARTICLES | Three examples of articles written by Heather Barras and published online for fashioncaptial online style website. Each article focuses on a different influential fashion figure throughout history.


“Anna Wintour is the most powerful woman in the United States”, editor-atlarge Andre Leon Talley is told just in ear shot of Wintour herself. She crosses her legs on her front row seat and flickers a smile. She has every right to do so. Anna is the world famous editor-in-chief of American Vogue. She is the Madonna, the David Beckham and the ‘Pope’ of the fashion world. To be in her presence would make anyone’s knees buckle and foreheads perspire, and millions would kill to be able to see the world through the eyes behind her oversized, black sunglasses. “I want to kill myself, I don’t know what I’m doing anymore!” cries Edward Enninful, fashion stylist and editor as he skulks out of Anna’s office in a frantic state of inadequacy. Branded the true ‘Ice Woman’, Wintour gives more realism and less harshness to the role than that of Meryl Streep in the blockbuster film ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, yet she is certainly not known to her inferiors for her warm and friendly posterior that’s for sure.

2007 September issue. Vogue’s biggest ever edition of 840 pages, weighing just under five pounds and marking 114 impressive years in press is created before our very eyes at the Condé Nast offices in Times Square. It is the setting for where the dedicated professionalism of the ‘Ice Woman’ and her office politics take charge over her forever inferior colleagues. Produced and directed by R.J Cutler, an outsider to the fashion world and the stereotypes within it, The September Issue gives the audience a unique and unbiased insight into the figures who work devotedly to create the world’s fashion bible that is American Vogue. Exclusive footage from behind the scenes at Paris and New York fashion weeks, as well as interviews with the stars at Vogue will be sure to ignite interest.

“Don’t be too nice... Or you’ll lose” - Grace

“Grace is a genius... She’s just remarkable” - Anna

The camera follows Grace as she works on numerous projects to showcase in the issue, boasting big name designers such as Galliano and Rodarte. She is enthusiastic and traditional, helping to dress a model between shoots - a rare job duty these days for a Creative Director to perform. However, she is writhing after a photo in her 1920’s shoot, models dressed head to toe in Galliano, was cast off for being too ‘busy’ and not following the 20’s theme. The disappointment Coddington shows after Anna’s decision displays her fierce passion for fashion even after so long in the business. “They’ve thrown out about $50,000 worth of work. It gets harder and harder to see it just get thrown out’, she states glumly.

This non-fictional ‘docu-film’ follows the renowned Londonborn legend as she works with her minors to create their esteemed

Regardless of her setbacks however, she shows her love and dedication to her job. The understanding between her and

Unexpectedly, the focus is not predominantly on Anna, but on the relationship between Wintour and Creative Director, Grace Coddington, who started working for Vogue on the same day as Anna herself.

RJ Cutler manages to portray their respectful understanding for one another regardless of their disagreements. Grace is a much warmer character than Wintour, offering quirky advice and wise words of which she teaches, “You need to be tougher... Or you’ll lose”. If anyone is aware of how tough Wintour can be to impress, Grace does, as she is often dismissed of her ideas throughout the film by the ice lady.

September 2009 | H A R P E R’S B A Z A A R | 54

that Anna isn’t somehow involved in?”, “No”, replies Vogue publisher, Tom Florio. Refreshingly, The September Issue is realistic and insightful and seems to resent ‘The Devil Wears Prada’s’ portrayal of the patronising and condescending editor role played by Meryl Streep. Scenes in which Wintour is captured in her home, sharing time with her daughter suggests a small hint that she is, to the dismay of many, a caring mother, leaving her icy status at the front door. Her weakness? “My children”, she states immediately. Misconceived? Decide for yourself.

Anna is prominent, and although they commonly disagree, they are both quoted confessing their mutual respect for each other and recognition of each other’s stubbornness. “Grace is a genius. There’s no one that can visualise a picture or understand the direction of fashion, or produce a great shoot like her, she’s remarkable”, says Anna.

cover of the issue, as well as designers Jean Paul Gaultier and Oscar de la Renta - not to mention world class photographers Mario Testino and Patrick DeMarchelier. A strong bond between Anna and the new, up and coming designer Thakoon also shows how she can utilise her power and connections to boost opportunities for struggling, fresh talent.

“Can you think of an aspect of the fashion industry that Anna isn’t somehow involved in?” “No.” - Tom Florio With a cast of world famous stars, The September Issue boasts Vogue’s connections with big household names and top, world class personalities. Celebrity appearances in the film include Sienna Miller, British beauty featured and photographed for the

In an entertaining and fascinating way, you will be sure to grasp the relationship between Grace and Anna, and understand just why she is considered to be the single most important figure in the 300 billion dollar global fashion industry. “Can you think of an aspect of the fashion world

The September Issue is due for DVD release on 23rd February 2010.

September 2009 | H A R P E R’S B A Z A A R | 55

The REAL Vogue  

Film Review into the September Issue, written by Heather Barras

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