Love Actually, The Holiday, Elf - to this list of unmissable Christmas movies I’d propose adding one more title: The Devil Wears Prada.
The tale of Andy Sachs, the plucky university graduate with ambitions of becoming a “serious journalist” who somehow ends up assisting Miranda Priestly, the exacting editor-in-chief of Runway三级成人视频 magazine, has attained classic status, at least in the category of fashion movies. Sure, it’s campy and over-simplistic, but that’s part of its joy - and dang, does it have some of the best lines Meryl Streep has ever delivered on film. (Cerulean. That is all.)
But every film is a time capsule of the moment in which it was produced, and Prada is no exception. Re-watching the film at the close of the decade, as I recently did, felt akin to opening a time capsule from 2006 - a time of bottomless expense accounts, of $300,000 re-shoots, of diva editors, casual sizeism and glibly predatory behaviour.
三级成人视频So much of the film doesn’t hold up - as when Art Director Nigel (the immortal Stanley Tucci) criticises Andy’s lunch selection in the Elias-Clarke cafeteria. “Corn chowder. That's an interesting choice. You do know that cellulite is one of the main ingredients in corn chowder.”
T三级成人视频hey have a running bit where Nigel ribs Anne Hathaway's Andy about being a size six (in this movie it’s not “wearing” a size, it’s “being” one), which is equivalent to a UK 10. He even greets her with, “Hi, Six,” as if Andy’s measurements make for a cute, office-appropriate nickname. Reader, were I Andy, I would have smacked him with one of my Chanel thigh-high boots.
All the banter proceeds against a backdrop of implied eating disorders (“I’m just one stomach flu away from my goal weight,” says First Assistant Emily). It culminates at Paris Fashion Week, when Andy responds to Nigel’s head-to-toe appraisal by telling him she’s now a size four. Which frankly left me both tired and disillusioned, and also so grateful to body positivity activists, and Ashley Graham, and all the people who have brought more inclusive representations of beauty to the fore in fashion. 2019 definitely has been better than 2006 in this respect.
T三级成人视频hen, in one of the most wince-making scenes of the entire movie, Andy tries to tell Christian Thompson, the powerful freelance writer (ha!) who has pursued her relentlessly since they met at an industry party several months/85 minutes ago, why she can’t accompany him to his hotel after their dream date in Paris.
“Do you know where we’re going? Because I’m lost,” she says. They kiss, and she begins to recite a considerable list of demurrals. “I can’t… I’ve had too much wine and my hearing... vision... judgment is impaired…. I barely know you. I’m in a strange city.”
In the film it’s supposed to be a seductive moment, representing Andy breaking free from her boring ex-boyfriend (sidebar: whatever happened to Adrien Grenier?) and owning her Paris-Andy fabulousness, but it’s impossible to watch now without consent klaxons going off in my head. (Christian! She’s just told you she’s impaired - step back, dude!)
三级成人视频(Also, anyone who has time for a romantic dinner in the middle of fashion week clearly isn’t doing her job right, but that’s secondary.)
There’s so much more - most jarringly, in Prada三级成人视频-land there are a puzzling quantity of pageboy hats, but no influencers. Magazine editors consequently occupy a post at the nexus of celebrity and power. The movie came out pre-Instagram (it wouldn’t launch until 2010). Pre-recession. Pre- a raft of magazine closures and redundancies and general cost-cutting that eviscerated the dream-factory function of fashion magazines.
That brings us to Miranda Priestly, the queen of Runway三级成人视频, ruler of the fashion universe, thrower of fur coats. (Real ones! Can you believe it? So retro.) Although I like to think that her appalling treatment of underlings would, if seen IRL, be called out in an instant by Diet Prada et al today, unfortunately it remains a feature of many fashion journalists’ early careers.
But the glossy promise of a career in fashion media still beckons. Show me an editor who says she didn’t at one point harbour dreams of a Nigel-type figure squiring her through a fashion-cupboard makeover scene (Are those Chanel? B**ch, you know they are), and I’ll show you a liar. The world of Runway is energetic and inspiring - perhaps more so than the industry’s 2019 incarnation.
Which is why the story is so ripe for retelling. And hey, whaddaya know - there’s a Prada musical in development, with music by Elton John. Look for it in a pre-Broadway engagement in Chicago in summer 2020. I can almost hear them singing it now. And it sounds just like florals for spring: Groundbreaking.