>> On Tuesday in London, Anna Wintour previewed the Costume Institute's Alexander McQueen exhibit, set to go with this year's gala and opening May 4. A selection of the pieces that will be on view — primarily from the McQueen archives — can be seen here, and Wintour spoke to the BBC about the designer's legacy: "His influence is everywhere. I always remember, very soon after we lost him, talking to a number of designers — we were all in New York at the time — about how huge his influence had been on them, how his runway shows really taught them to be daring, and that the runway wasn’t just about a nice beige suit, that it was a place to explore the imagination and to take risks and to dare. That might sound sort of difficult to understand, maybe to the average woman, but the effects of that imagination had an extraordinary trickle-down effect, so what you may see looking very extreme on the runway would end up in people's closets in a much more understandable way."
Planned or not (although she has seen the film), we couldn't help but notice how Wintour's words in that last sentence parallel those of Miranda Priestly (whose character is supposedly based on Wintour) in The Devil Wears Prada. In one well-known scene, Priestly also talk designers' trickle-down effects: "You go to your closet and you select . . . I don't know . . . that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent . . . wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs, and it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff."