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In Vogue - The Editor’s Eye

by Bill Biss
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Thursday Dec 6, 2012
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In the initial first minutes of the HBO documentary film In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye current and former fashion editors of Vogue magazine are asked to describe their job responsibilities with the question "What is it you do as fashion editor?" The expressions of the women profiled are priceless and revealing as each one can’t seem to put into words just what it entails to create the imagery and countless details delivered each month in the pages of Vogue. It’s almost as if they were asked to describe Einstein’s Theory of Relativity... yet once filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato take the task to hand and turn the camera around on these unique, inventive and passionate women behind the scenes, a complex and authoritative portrait of fashion photography at its finest comes clearly into view.

Coinciding with the 120th anniversary of the publication, the documentary traces the evolution, cultural shifts and the ever-evolving and revolving door of fashion over the decades. The iconic editors interviewed for the film range from current Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour whose philosophy that shapes the final product is "one wants to be surprised" to Vogue’s editor from 1947 to 1972, Babs Simpson. One charming and telling moment occurs when the 99-year-old fireball Babs Simpson is shown a photograph of Lady Gaga used in a recent edition of Vogue. Simpson wryly replies, "Is this a boy or a girl?"

Along with the timeline of editors presented are the fine pedigrees of fashion editors profiled over the course of the fascinating and informative hour of "In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye." In the name of fashion photography, the clear-headed genius of Grace Coddington or the rebel attitude and drive of Polly Mellen are inspiring to behold as they "bring back the pictures that make a difference." While individualist and utterly French Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele describes bringing couture to the streets in the late 1980s as simply, "It was all about attitude."

A fascination for fashion as an art form and as a cultural guide for those who revel in it is a rich, rewarding and ultimately beautiful vision to behold. Whether your journey with Vogue began as a pre-adolescent absorbing the color and design of the pages within, a teenager aspiring to look all "grown-up" or an adult who admires the business of artistic expression, the backbone and ultimate blood, sweat and tears of the work involved and the women who fashioned it are given a stimulating and rewarding acknowledgement with "In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye."

"In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye"
HBO
Premieres Thursday, December 6

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