The September Issue (or: I learn the not very work appropriate secrets of a Vogue appropriate wardrobe.)

I’m currently making the transition from grad student  to working professional. My grad student wardrobe was best characterized by the fact that my last minute Liz Lemon Halloween costume involved nothing more one of my everyday outfits plus a pair of glasses and a bag of Sabor de Soledad (aka Cheezies). Add to my soon to be status as (fingers crossed) working professional the fact that I’ve just moved to Toronto, a city where I’ve already noticed an inclination in the women around me to dress up a little bit more than we did in either of the coastal cities of my recent past, and you get my current style situation: a need to up my game.

So I decided to ask myself: WWTHPWWAVD (what would the people who work at Vogue do)?

I’m super fond of documentaries, find Anna Wintour fascinating, and really like clothes, so I had been wanting to watch The September Issue since I first heard about it. Today, I did, and I learned a few things about high fashion work wardrobes. It seems there are a number of ways one can successfully dress  for work at Vogue.

1. Dress up. Like, way up. Like, stratosphere up.

Treat every day at work like you’re going to a garden party.

But please don’t treat it like you’re going to your own fifth birthday party. Unless, maybe, it is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day and you are the daughter or son. Which I doubt is the case here:

2. Have worked there for over 20 years, and be amazing at your job.

Grace Coddington seems to have a wardrobe of shapeless black things, and yet she doesn’t get fired. Note to self: be amazing, and it won’t matter what I wear. Eventually.

3. Be Anna Wintour.

Then you will know exactly what is fashionable and what is not.

Aside: Anna Wintour is so cat-like. It’s the way she watches what’s going on around her, shifting so slightly, her expression almost amused at the ease with which she could kill you and eat you.

4. If you can’t be Anna Wintour, be André Leon Talley.

Because that means you can wear kimono cape things to work.

And Louis Vuitton on the tennis court. This counts as work attire because he alluded to the fact that the exercise was mandated by Ms. Wintour.

5. Work for Vogue without working for Vogue.

If you want to wear normal, comfortable clothes like jeans,  t-shirts, and plaid shirts, become a photographer, or a photographer’s assistant, or a stylist, or one of the other creatives who doesn’t actually work AT Vogue. Or, if you want to wear mindblowingly expensive, gorgeously ridiculous outfits, become a model.

From the same shoot, my favourite scene in the film: Model Raquel Zimmerman eats one of the most delicious looking tarts I’ve ever seen. The look of pleasure and delight on her face is priceless.

To sum up (and make these fashion rules applicable to my, and probably your, life): if and when you are important enough, you can wear whatever you want. In the meantime, look nice.


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