December 9, 2012

Movie Review: HBO's "In Vogue: The Editor's Eye" Documentary

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HBO has done it again! On Thursday they aired a documentary focused on the great editor's behind Vogue magazine titled "In Vogue: The Editor's Eye." I loved About Face which aired in August and focused on legendary models. Now HBO takes us behind the scenes of went in to creating some of the most memorable and iconic fashion images produced in Vogue. It featured interviews with current Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour; fashion editors such as Grace Coddington, Tonne Goodman, Polly Allen Mellen, Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, Camilla Nickerson, Phyllis Posnick and Babs Simpson.

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Dreaming of being a fashion editor myself, I thoroughly enjoyed this film to get a glimpse inside the minds of these women. While many think fashion magazines are frivolous, I agree with Ms. Wintour herself that fashion captures the times. A fashion image shows more than just beautiful clothes, it narrates the current culture and trends of society. And these women were all power players in capturing those moments in time. Each represent a different period: Diana Vreeland (not pictured) was the eccentric '60s, Carlyne Cerf was the excessive '80s, Grace Coddington showcased grunge in the '90s and so on.

Fashion magazines is one of the rare industries where women are the leaders and have such a powerful tool to shape society. I say they're just as important as the suits in Washington making laws. Anna Wintour recognized how street style was influencing designers (a trickle up effect as she explained) and featured jeans on her first Vogue cover. To someone who doesn't appreciate fashion as an art, they may say what's the big deal about jeans but to those who appreciate it, it was breaking down major walls.

Sarah Jessica Parker talked about how fashion magazines transported you to another world and offered some form of escapism while you flipped through the pages. Many wonder why women stare at these images of clothes that they'll never be able to afford but it is for that exact reason. The reason why we loved fairytales as little girls. We have vivid imaginations and dream of worlds where we can live in the editorial pages of Vogue.

They talked about the great lengths they went to get the shot. Vera Wang mentioned her time as assistant to Polly Mellen and how it was complete torture (the Devil Wears Prada expands past just Ms. Wintour I see) but it was because of the excruciating lengths she went to get a shot. When wanting to shoot the famous bee on lips image, Phyllis Posnick literally casted bees like she would have models. It took several months. There was another shoot where they were discussing the working woman so they had a doberman pictured with a gorgeous model. However, the treats were not satisfying him enough and he literally wanted to eat the model and hence the famous shot of a dog's mouth eating the ankle of a model (which was not photoshopped... it didn't exist at the time). Vera also remembers the dog tore up the couture dress as well.

These images are so important that models would put themselves through such torture and editors would go to such extreme lengths to make sure it's the perfect shot. Usually the shot arises on the day of the shoot and by chance, not typically the shot they had planned but that's the thrill. I recommend this movie if you love fashion, photography, magazines or ever wanted to be an editor. It offers great insight, interviews some living legends and showcases Vogue's extraordinary archives. They were able to get Babs Simpson who's 100 years old and photographed Marilyn Monroe months before she died. So amazing!

Did you watch the film? What were your thoughts? 


  1. I watched the documentary twice! Lol. I absolutely loved it. I thought it was nicely done and it gave great insight into the minds of those fabulous fashion editors. As a blogger I have always strived to create high quality, original content so that my posts are timeless. In essence watching this amazing editors was so inspiring.

    1. do you happen you know what site where I could watch this amazing documentary?

    2. No, sorry. It's only available on HBO currently. Perhaps it will be available on Netflix?


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