Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Snob of the Week

I took a look at the Age/SMH Good Weekend today and learnt that Anna Wintour is the editor of American Vogue and that she is lampooned in the film The Devil Wears Prada which is to be released here in September. Her friend Barbara Amiel isn't too pleased at the way Anna is depicted in the film:

Since time immemorial, people of limited or average ability and energy have consoled themselves that they understand the more important values in life, such as relationships and intimacy, as though these things were not available to energetic, talented people. This is a literary convention that fuels many a work on stage and screen as well as between covers. One of the commonest ways by which this is done is to depict these powerful and successful beings as human failures.

... People like to be reassured that though they don't amount to much, what matters is that their friends love them ... But half-truths wrapped around lies can always make the incredible sound credible - to the gullible.

Later, to show just how wrong the makers of The Devil Wears Prada have got their caricature of Wintour (renamed Miranda Priestly in the film), Amiel tells us:

Meryl Streep's Miranda has little connection with ... Wintour, either in style or substance. Wintour's ears would never display the oversized hoop earrings Streep wears in the film. The clunky shoe that stretches out of the limousine in a brief shot when Miranda first appears would never appear on Wintour. She wears only Manolo Blahnik, whose shop windows have not been darkened by clunkiness.

In the end, Amiel does concede that Wintour has one or two imperfections, including a certain naive other-worldliness:

I encountered [Anna] once under the canopy of a Fifth Avenue apartment in Manhattan. She looked a knockout , wearing a fantastic Yves St Laurent snakeskin trenchcoat. "You must have it," she said. "Go and get it. There's a size 36 left." I wanted to ask what it cost but hadn't the guts.

That afternoon, I forked out $12,000 for the same coat and took it home for an hour, only to return it the same day. When she asked me later, I mumbled something about having exhausted my budget for the season. "But it's only $3000," she said.

Postscript: comments are enabled again for those as wants to use 'em.