Anna Wintour: The wardrobe of fashion’s high priestess

Skim along the front man rowing of any major fashion show – a human horizon of sorts – and a handful of silhouettes will always be seen, like cartoon characters that have infiltrated the very earth. These shapes include those of Suzy Menkes, fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune with her hallmark high-rise quiff ; Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia, and her long mermaid locks ; Grace Coddington, creative director of Vogue, with her flame-red tresses and finally Anna Wintour, Vogue ’ s editor-in-chief, who was recently named artistic director of the entire Condé Nast publication empire. This summer marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Wintour ’ s reign at Vogue – a period throughout which she has firm sported the lapp haircut : a absolutely coiffed curtsy, so thick and fixed it could pass for a wig. wide regarded as the most herculean name in the fashion industry, British-born Wintour, 63, has cleverly crafted a protective helmet with her ’ do and omnipresent shades ; the excellently aloof editor ( nicknamed ‘ Nuclear Wintour ’ ) gives the impression that, if she removed her spectacles, anyone catching her gaze would be instantaneously turned to stone. Yet despite her frigid reputation, Wintour – who made The Guardian ’ s 50 best-dressed over-50s list this March, is a surprisingly feminine dresser ; her signature looks include tweed suits by Oscar de la Renta and Chanel, textured A-line skirts and below-the-knee, bootless pencil dresses that display off her tennis-toned arms. ( excellently one of Roger Federer ’ s biggest supporters, she ’ sulfur said to rise at dawn to spend an hour on the court most mornings. ) Wintour likes color and bluff prints, tempered by slick cuts and impersonal footwear – typically bespoke nude slingbacks by Manolo Blahnik. As for accessories, chunky crystal necklaces are another Wintour wardrobe staple, her contemporary contract on pearls, but she is rarely seen carrying a base ( occasionally she ’ ll clasp a clutch adult adequate to hold her ever-present BlackBerry ). footage from a 2000 BBC documentary has revealed an androgynous side to the editor, in childlike pants and a white polo neck evoking Audrey Hepburn, but she hasn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate been seen wearing trousers to an event in around ten years. She ’ second besides curiously antipathetic to black, fashion ’ s go-to shade for moment style. A scene in 2009 documentary The September Issue sees Grace Coddington pull a black leather jacket from a rail of clothes and chew over aloud, “ I wonder if Anna would like this one ? ” “ Well, it ’ s black … ” person answers off-camera, to which Coddington replies, “ That ’ mho true, I ’ five hundred be fired for that ”, before hanging it back on the torment. Black mood

In the 2000 BBC special Boss Women : Anna Wintour, the editor program is seen previewing a collection by former Yves Saint Laurent creative film director Stefano Pilati. “ So you ’ re not in truth feeling coloring material, Stefano ? ” she barks, beadily eyeballing the grey creations being presented for her blessing. A defeated-looking Stefano replies, “ No, you know, it ’ second my temper ; in winter I never feel so much for coloring material. It ’ s more a summer thing for me, honestly … ” Narrowing her eyes, Wintour lowers her read/write head disapprovingly, blinks furiously then sighs. It ’ s a scene mirrored in roman à clef The Devil Wears Prada, where Meryl Streep ’ s Wintour proxy, Miranda Priestly, damns an entire collection with the merest purse of her lips, sending a interior designer into talk despair. Wintour ’ randomness blessing is evenly seismic, with a nod ensuring considerable achiever. She restyled Adele between the publish of her first base and second albums, taking the plus-sized Londoner from dowdy and amorphous to effortlessly elegant, complementing – if not even enhancing – the 26 million-selling album 21. Wintour ’ s champion of once Dior couturier John Galliano didn ’ triiodothyronine end with his on-camera anti-semitic rantings ( she ’ randomness said to be helping him rebuild his career ). And anointing fashion-mad rapper Kanye West helped him sell out an entire regulate of $ 120 plain-white APC ‘ Hip Hop t-shirts ’ in hours online, even after his slashed ‘n ’ layered 2011 introduction catwalk collection was universally slated. ( Her affectionateness for West merely goes therefore far ; while his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, finally wangled an invite to the ultra-exclusive, Wintour-curated Met Ball concluding May – to which she wore a widely-ridiculed bum Givenchy frock – she is said to be persona not grata to Vogue, as is baby daughter North. ) Like West, Wintour besides favours fur. The September Issue shows a pelt-wearing Anna being asked by a reporter, “ Is there a way to wear fur this winter ? ” “ There ’ sulfur always a way to wear fur, ” she snaps. “ Personally, I have it on my back. ” Wintour ’ s unapologetic manner approach to her own clothes frequently sees her zero in on key pieces she will then recycle throughout a temper – an admirably thrifty act seen as transgressive in the erratic universe of fashion. Sporting the lapp Carolina Herrera floral switch three times in two weeks made headlines. “ It is unthinkable that she would make a fashion fake pascal. so when Vogue editor Anna Wintour made her one-third appearance wearing the same trim in the quad of a fortnight, observers could lone conclude she was making a style argument, ” concluded the Daily Telegraph in 2008. There is surely always method to her dress. “ Each of Anna ’ s sartorial decisions are deliberate as she decides which trends to promote, ” insisted The Huffington Post in a 2009 article entitled Breaking ! Anna Wintour Steps Out In Flats.

A game of chess It ’ second popular to believe that the fashion worldly concern is grandmaster Wintour ’ s game, with tied its most brawny players her pawns, but she is neither as despiteful nor a humorless as this implies. co-star Streep and Anne Hathaway have both graced the cover of Vogue since The Devil Wears Prada was released, for exemplify, and Wintour reportedly even wore the label of the title to a private preview of the film back in 2006.

And of course she ’ s not infallible. The fashion patrol happily opened fire on a futuristic silver Chanel gown she wore to the Met Ball in 2008, which went on to peak Time ’ s Top 10 worst outfits of the year. “ When the history of mod fashion is written, this will be its Waterloo moment, ” said the think of cartridge holder, reasonably abundantly. One could see it as karma for all the interior designer digs Wintour has made across her career – The September Issue is littered with such asides as “ It ’ second barely blue … ” and “ It ’ s not big on ‘ hanger solicitation ’ … ” – though, in her defense, the Met Ball consequence was themed around the Costume Institute ’ s newfangled exhibition, Superheroes : manner and Fantasy. possibly then, as now, she was merely ahead of her time. Love or loathe her style, Wintour, who makes her living telling early women how to dress, has nailed a front that flatters her human body and features. Her choice of colours, textures and prints hint at a softer english to her character, or at least the desire to convey such a message, and her lack of baggage and barely-there nude footwear give an stamp of agility. You won ’ triiodothyronine see Wintour with bed hair, worrying about the size of her bottom in a couple of jeans, or scuffing her shoes. The override message of her tailored-to-a-t, groomed appearance is that she is sartorial paragon personified, dictating but rarely succumbing to trends. If you would like to comment on this floor or anything else you have seen on BBC Culture, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter .

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