>> INSIDER WIRE —More rumors have hit that Anna Wintour is looking for a place in the Obama administration — possibly as ambassador to Britain — but a rep denies them, and we can likely chalk it up to the fact that she has contract negotiations coming up. But it sounds like the Anna situation isn't the only thing Si Newhouse is about to have on his plate: New York's Monday cover story — online Sunday night at 10 pm — is titled "Si Newhouse's Dream Factory" and the teaser reads: "Conde Nast's own stars compare their glossy empire to the MGM of Old Hollywood, but no one would wish it the same fate. What happens to a magazine empire built on glossy fantasies when harsher realities intrude?" [Page Six, FWD]
>> In the March 2008 issue of Vogue, premier retoucher of fashion photographs, Pascal Dangin, tweaked a total of 144 images, from ads to editorial spreads, and in The September Issue, which focuses on the making of Vogue's September 2007 issue, Anna Wintour definitely displays a reliance on retouching, asking Mario Testino to superimpose cover girl Sienna Miller's head from one shot onto her body in another shot, and requesting that a cameraman's gut from an editorial shot be diminished, to Grace Coddington's dismay: "Everybody isn't perfect in this world. It's enough that the models are perfect."
When digital manipulation programs first came into use in the early '90s, reports Eric Wilson for The New York Times, art directors originally used them to create a heightened sense of reality like images achieved through movie special effects — "hyper real" style, as former The Face art director and current Love creative director Lee Swillingham coined it — as a reaction against the images of supermodels that looked too perfect. Editors weren't suggesting the resulting look be attainable, Swillingham explains: “We were trying to create a future fashion. You could do something that looked gritty and real or something that looked like plastic.”
>> Despite screening in January at the Sundance Film Festival, details on Vogue documentary The September Issue — with the exception of a short clip — have been kept largely under wraps. A group of British fashion insiders who have seen the 90-minute special are under strict embargo not to discuss it until it is screened at the Edinburgh festival on June 22, and the movie doesn't hit theaters until September 11, but Fashion Week Daily got their hands on a screener and has plenty of details on the film, which features Anna Wintour, the "pope" as Style.com's Candy Pratts Price calls her, and creative director Grace Coddington, or "without question, the greatest living stylist there is," according to fashion news and features director Sally Singer. The highlights, as relayed by FWD:
Anna's apparently not a fan of black . . .
"I wonder if Anna would like this one?" Grace Coddington muses, flipping through pieces. "It's black," someone points out. "That's true," Grace says. "You'd get fired for that."
. . . And perhaps not Stefano Pilati, either?
We watch her drop in for walk-through with Karl Lagerfeld and Stefano Pilati, with whom she is surprisingly (not so surprisingly?) short. What, no color in this collection, Stefano? No evening?
But she pushes for more Olivier Theyskens/Nina Ricci representation in the magazine.
Mario [Testino]'s film from the cover shoots comes back, and Anna is not pleased. There aren't enough clothes, there isn't enough Nina Ricci, and where are the Colosseum shots? She looks through the cover options, and leaves a note on one, where Sienna [Miller] is flashing a grin: "like this best, but teeth."
>> INSIDER WIRE —Anna Wintour has a big day tomorrow: her daughter Bee Shaffer is graduating from Columbia, and Anna's joining New York Mayor Bloomberg at City Hall tomorrow for the retail initiative announcement she hinted at last week. The program, called "Fashion's Night Out," will take place on Sept. 10 at the beginning of New York Fashion Week: stores all over New York are being asked to stay open late and throw parties open to the public; designers, meanwhile, are expected to make appearances at their own stores and at some department stores. [Columbia, City Room]
Anna Wintour in Minnesota: People Are Little Houses Here On 60 Minutes the other night, Vogue editor Anna Wintour recounted a recent trip to the Midwest and her "concern" with America's obesity crisis. It might surprise Anna that Minneapolis, MN, was ranked America's third most fit city, while New York City came in fifth on "the top fattest cities" list. See what Anna and TrèsSugar have to say.
We refer to obesity as an epidemic and talk about anorexia as an eating disorder, but both illustrate our extreme relationships with food. Disordered eating is a regular topic in Lifetime movies and TV talk shows, and there are occasionally real-life documentaries of young women battling anorexia. When a fashion model suffers from an eating disorder, we hear about it in the news.
Obesity has been making news headlines for the past decade or so, with a heavy hand coming down on fast-food restaurants. Obese individuals have made their stories public with several reality TV shows, and there's a push for parents to take responsibility for teaching their kids' healthy-eating habits.
I'd just been on a trip to Minnesota, where I can only kindly describe most of the people I saw as little houses. There's such an epidemic of obesity in the United States, and for some reason, everybody focuses on anorexia.
Ironically, Minnesota is one of the healthiest states in the nation. Do you agree with Anna's comment about everyone focusing on anorexia?
>> Michelle Obama attracted Ralph Lauren, Iman, and Anna Wintour front row as she promoted the arts with a speech on opening night at the American Ballet Theater in New York, and at the following Spring gala, she earned praise from another fashion fan — Francisco Costa, who arrived with Dree Hemingway. "She's proven that she has great sensibility, great tastes — she's feeling her way around and doing an amazing job." Costa has not yet had an opportunity to dress the First Lady, but getting there is on his agenda. "Of course I will try to talk to her! Why do you think I'm here? I bought a tuxedo for her!"
Sessilee Lopez, too, was excited to have dinner with Obama. "She is truly amazing in person. An aura just radiates from her. I'm so proud that she's our First Lady," she wrote. Coco Rocha and Hilary Rhoda also attended, in support of the evening's honorary chair, Carolina Herrera.
*image: source, source
"I'd just been on a trip to Minnesota, where I can only kindly describe most of the people I saw as little houses. And I just felt like there’s such an epidemic of obesity in the United States. And for some reason everyone focuses on anorexia."
On 60 Minutes last night, Vogue editor Anna Wintour recounted a recent trip to the Midwest and her "concern" with America's obesity crisis. It might surprise Anna that Minneapolis, MN, was ranked America's third most fit city, while New York City came in fifth on "the top fattest cities" list.
To see the clip, read more
>> The months-in-the-making 60 Minutes profile of Anna Wintour finally aired last night, and besides the tired Devil Wears Prada and unauthorized biography references, a snarky Morley Safer provided a candid look at "Darth Vader in a frock" — except for the instances when she purposely evaded his question. He even asked her if she thinks of herself as a b*tch: "I hope I'm not . . . I try not to be, but I like people who represent the best of what they do and if that turns you into a perfectionist than maybe I am."
She laughs when asked if it's true that Vogue staffers are not allowed to speak to her on the elevator:
Oh yeah, I heard that, you're not allowed to get in the elevator with me. That's a complete exaggeration. I guess in response I can only say that I've have so many people here that have worked with me fifteen, twenty years, and if I'm such a b*tch they must really be a glutton for punishment because they're still here.
She credits part of her success to her failures elsewhere: "I wasn't academically successful and maybe I've spent a lot of my career trying to make up for that." But she's still the Anna whose daily hair and makeup bill, plus a rumored $200,000 annual clothing allowance, is all picked up by Conde Nast — and her view of "reasonable" clothing prices reflects that. She visits Alexander Wang's showroom for a runthrough, and as a silver sequined minidress passes by, she asks Alexander how much it is. "This one retails for $1,200." Her reply? With a little smile: "It's very reasonable."
But designers can irritate her: "If you see a collection that you feel the designer has been lazy or is taking inspiration from other designers, it doesn't as much as bore me as anger me."
Even Andre Leon Talley, one of those figures who have been at Vogue for years, feels the Wintour chill:
It's not like a tea party here, we work very hard. Let's say that Anna can be intimidating, I think that's her armor, to intimidate, to give people a sense that she's in charge. She is not a person who's going to show you her emotions ever. She's like a doctor. When she's looking at your work, it's like a medical analysis. Some of us can't cope with that . . . we need to be loved.
But it's something to get used to — if Anna has any say, she'll be sticking around a while longer. "To me, this is a very interesting time to be in this position, and I think it would be, in a way, irresponsible not to put my best foot forward and lead us into a different time." Morley prods, asking her if when the time comes, she'll go quietly? She smiles. "Certainly, very quietly."