DESIGNER CHAT: the devil wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada was released in 2006, based off a novel by Lauren Weisberger of the same name, and quickly became a conversation as to the validity of the scene Weisberger painted of the world of high fashion.
Clarifying “high” fashion because there are so many aspects to the fashion industry that is still so underground that it doesn’t seem right to group us all into the same world.
Little background, Weisberger DID work for Anna Wintour, the editor and chief at American Vogue, and it is speculated that the film depicts a lot of parallels between real life experiences and the silver screen adaptation.
Emily from @emilyshoppingsoulmate and I had some thoughts, they are purely for fun and just made to get us to think about these characters in a new light. Here was our conversation about it,
First thoughts on the film:
Rebecca: I loved it. I never thought it would last the generations but it has a very nostalgic feel to me. Like rewatching Sex in the City episodes.
Emily: I loved it. At the time i was only really watching rom coms or action, two very specific genres. This was like a breath of fresh air for me! It wasn’t about a boy it was about a love for your career and how far would you go to be successful! Brilliant.
The film only really has a plot because Andy took a job that she didn’t want but was suited for. Would you/have you ever taken a job to lead somewhere else or that you didn’t want?:
R: I have definitely taken jobs that I didn’t want to do. I’m also really bad for dragging my feet in those scenarios though, so it always takes me longer to do the things that I don’t want to do. I feel like if I were Andy I would be the worst employee. I wouldn’t go above and beyond as she does.
E: I think all the jobs i took in my twenties were jobs i didn't want but needed. I certainly didn’t work retail for 6 years because i had a passion for working in malls at Christmas time. But you do what you have to when you want to work in your field.
Favourite look in the movie?:
R: The Chanel Thigh High Boots! But I think it was also partly Andy's confidence when she put on the clothes that really owned the outfit for me.
E: brown leather jacket, brown dress. Legs for days. I’m here for it. You only see it for a second but omg. I would live in it. School runs and everything. Second would be their green dress and layered gold necklaces! mostly because I could recreate that today if i wanted to. Which is my favourite thing about movie outfits.
How long do you think the film will stay relevant?:
B: I already think that the film has become outdated with one of the major challenges Andy facing having to do with the final Harry Potter book. Kids these days do not remember the angst associated with that book launch. Not to mention the way fashion has already changed so significantly since then.
E: The whole idea of the elite fashionistas against Andys type. That’s over. I think high fashion or street style has never been more accessible. Now that might be in part due to fast fashion industry and thats a whole other live.
Let’s talk fashion and beauty in the early 2000’s:
R: All the talk about weight and beauty is just no longer relevant. I would never hire a girl who was too thin because we’ve also done so much work as a society to educate ourselves on what it means to be “beautiful” and how we’ve learned that that word means so many things to different people.
E: I agree starving for fashion is not a thing anymore thank God. It’s become much more inclusive and the definition of high fashion has changed as well. Looks are much more ready to wear instead of high end couture. Which also have their place and can be seen as an intricate art form.
Andy has some toxic relationships:
R: She has very little in the way of a support system. It’s really hard to watch her friends tease her and never get it. I mean, my friends tease me all the time but I also know they have my back.
Not a popular opinion but I honestly think Nate held her back and she should have dumped his booty and her and Christian would have made a powerhouse couple. If you look at Christian's behaviour, he flirted, sure - so did she, but never made a move until she was single. He would have challenged her in a really positive way.
E: There’s definitely a difference between friendly teasing and hazing but when it becomes an ongoing issue in the group then its a problem. The scene where she shows up at the restaurant and gives them all these expensive gifts for FREE and then her phone rings and they decided to play keep away?!?!?!? I wouldn't taken alllllll those gifts back. Even the Mark Jacobs purse. I would’ve dumped her shit out and taken it back. If you get designer for free then sit there and smile and be nice. Your friends a goddess.
Andy makes a statement while in Paris saying, “If Miranda were a man no one would say anything”:
R: I think that’s true. I think even today we give more of an allowance to men in a position of power to be sterner whereas Miranda puts on a persona of hard and unforgiving which we see gets let down later in the film. There is a certain level of tough skin you have to have in this industry for sure but I think that if she were a man that same character would have more women around him to help. Think of the Don Draper character from Mad Men. He has women around him constantly protecting his time so that he can get work done. Miranda takes on all the challenges including mothering her two daughters.
E: oh i 1000% agree with this. If a man is neglecting his life, relationships, health and well-being, he’s driven, committed to his career. If a woman does it. She’s selfish. Cold-hearted, ice queen, needs to get her priorities in check. It’s bull shit. I’m a medicine wife. I deal with this first hand. Also when Christina Thompson says “you’ll never survive Miranda.” And “you cant do that job.” I recognize that look in Andys eye and i think thats the point when she’s like “watch me” the commitment comes in and she’s determined to see it through. Despite having to make hard choices.
Q: can we discuss how Miranda puts Andy in her place with the blue sweater monologue?
R: I think that Andy needed to hear it. Her entire attitude when walking into Runway thinking that she was too good for "fashion" and as Miranda pointed out it, there was a certain level of ignorance. The fashion industry does account for so much in the way of artistry, craftsmanship, business, etc that her "I take myself too seriously to care" attitude was completely unacceptable.
E: I cant stand people who dress poorly and claim it's because they don't care about fashion and it somehow puts them above the rest of us who love fashion, like really check yourself. You’re not doing yourself any favours by dressing like shit. It doesn’t make you seem smarter or wiser or above it all. It actually makes you look unprofessional and like you don't care or you don't like your body type.
Q: Let's also discuss how Andy AGAIN gets put in her place by Nigel!!!
R: Again, I think the character needed to hear it. She was wondering why life wasn't coming easy to her the way that she was used to. Life can have its challenges and I think Nigel putting her in her place was warranted.
E: Fashion is not just for the most glamour or the prettiest. These are the people who sweat and bleed for their art but because it’s pretty and mainstream it's easier to dismiss it. I defy anyone who makes fun of the fashion industry to survive one month in fashion school or those late-night sewing classes…..
That was our talk, it was so much fun. But also consider how far we have moved away from some of those toxic elements of fashion even just from the early 2000's. We've increased body positivity and demanded inclusive sizing. We've demanded a more inclusive depiction of beauty. We did that, as the consumer. Here's how to continue to make change,
Ask for clothes to be made to fit the shapes we are now instead of a gibberish sizing system that only fits one standard.
Reach out on their socials. By making a public ask you’re also inviting others to agree with you and make their own comments.
Email them directly. There is always a place on their website to suggest changes.
The more we ask, the more we’ll get and remember that you vote with your dollar. If a company doesn’t come off as authentic you can refuse to spend your money with them.