Sundance gets rare look at fashion bible Vogue

Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:57am EST
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By Michelle Nichols

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour throws opens the doors to the magazine widely viewed as the American fashion bible in a new documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

"The September Issue" centers on Wintour, whose stern rule over the fashion industry while running the Conde Nast magazine has earned her an icy reputation that is said to have inspired Meryl Streep's role in 2006 film "The Devil Wears Prada."

Structured around Vogue's eight-month preparation for its biggest issue of the year, director R.J. Cutler was given rare access to the Vogue offices on New York's Times Square, tailing Wintour and the magazine's creative director Grace Coddington.

"I was certainly surprised by Anna's prominence in this industry," Cutler, who produced the Oscar-nominated documentary "War Room, told Reuters. "It's true that she is really this singular figure in this enormous global industry."

"You can make a movie without (director) Stephen Spielberg's blessing and you can publish software without (Microsoft founder) Bill Gates' blessing, but you can't get a dress you designed on a rack without Anna Wintour's blessing," he said. "You kind of have to see it to believe it."

With bobbed hair, dark glasses and an austere look, Wintour is a longtime front-row fixture at fashion shows from New York to Paris as head of a publication founded in 1892 that some have called the world's most influential fashion magazine.

"Anna is the boss to end all bosses," Cutler said.

Recent speculation has grown that she could be thinking about retirement or is being considered by President Barack Obama as a possible ambassador to France.   Continued...

<p>Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour speaks on a cell phone during New York Fashion Week, September 7, 2007. REUTERS/Eric Thayer</p>