I watched the London preview of The September Issue last night, R J Cutler’s documentary about the making of Vogue’s September issue. It was absolutely fascinating! Why? Because it tells two really insightful stories. One is the actual making of the magazine’s biggest annual issue, and the second, is the relationship between Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington.
I loved all the details of how the magazine issue is conceived and executed; like a book, it starts with a central idea, and then blossoms out from there, through sumptuous visual narratives. And what was very clear was that this works because of the central relationship between Wintour and Coddington, who complement one another into the perfect marriage: Wintour’s decisiveness balancing Coddington’s vision. Together, they tell the Vogue stories, and although it’s Wintour’s name over the door, it’s Coddington’s genius as a creative visionary that fuels Vogue with one story after another. Anna maybe the business brains behind Vogue, the editor who knows how to cut and cull the unnecessary from the pictures, but it’s Coddington’s soulful passion for photography that gives Wintour the canvas to cull from.
Even if you aren’t into fashion, just pick up a copy of US Vogue and sift through the pictures. Each one tells a story.
It inspired me to think about partnership and collaboration, and to ask myself: who do I want to collaborate with next and why. And I realized, if I fancy myself as a bit of a Coddington, who will be my Wintour?!