American Vogue magazine’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, is one of fashion’s more formidable characters. Her demanding attitude and intimidating personality have earned her the nicknames “Ice Queen” and “Nuclear Wintour”. She is regarded as one of the most powerful people in fashion, with wide-reaching influence in fashion circles and beyond.
Wintour’s former assistant, Lauren Weisberger wrote the book, The Devil Wears Prada, which then became a popular movie adaptation staring Meryl Streep. Many believed the fictional editor in the movie, who reduced her staff to tears on a daily basis, was based on Anna Wintour.
The Hollywood version of events may be entertaining, but it seems that the truth is actually stranger than fiction. In 2009, a documentary film, The September Issue, follows Anna Wintour and the other staff at Vogue in their preparations for publication of the September 2007 issue of the magazine. After seeing the reality of life at the magazine and a glimpse into Wintour’s real personality, it’s clear that she could give the fictional character a run for her money.
The September Issue certainly does not disappoint in living up to its reputation of being ‘The Real Devil Wears Prada’. Wintour is on top form, delivering some scathing commentary over the course of the 90-minute film.
Here is our selection of best Anna Wintour quotes from The September Issue:
1. “Fashion is not about looking back. It’s always about looking forward.”
2. “I think that what I often see is that people are frightened of fashion and that because they’re scared of it, or it makes them feel insecure they put it down. On the whole, people that say demeaning things about our world. I think that’s usually because they feel in some ways excluded or not part of the cool group. So as a result they just mock it.”
3. “There is something about fashion that can make people very nervous.”
4. On Jennifer Garner: “She looks pregnant. We need to fix her.”
5. Replying to a journalist who commented on the fact that she is known as the ‘Ice Woman’: “Well, this week it has been very cold, that’s all I can say.”
6. “Just because you like to put on a beautiful Carolina Herrera dress or a pair of J Brand blue jeans, instead of something basic from K-Mart, doesn’t mean that you’re a dumb person.”
7. On Vogue’s creative director and former model, Grace Coddington: “I don’t believe for one minute that I have a sense of what’s going to happen or a sense of real change the way Grace does. I mean, Grace is a genius and there is no one that can visualize a picture or understand the direction of fashion or produce a great shoot. I mean, she’s just remarkable. She and I don’t always agree, but I think that over the years we’ve learned how to deal with each other’s different points of view.”
8. “I remember when my dad retired, I asked him why he was leaving because he was obviously so passionate about what he was doing. Well, he said, ‘I get too angry. I get too angry. I find myself getting too angry.’ So I do remember that, because I know that at times, I get quite angry so I try and restrain that. I think that when I find myself getting really, really angry, it might be time to stop.”
9. On wearing fur: “There is always a way to wear fur. Personally I have it on my back!”
10. On the physique of the documentary cameraman who ends up in the shot: “It needs a little bit of retouching. You need to go to the gym!”