Beauty's Where You Find It: Vogue on Screen

Two new books and a documentary celebrate Vogue's 120th anniversary this year.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

December 06 2012 7:05 AM ET

Vogue editrix Anna Wintour and muse Sara Jessica Parker at the screening for In Vogue: The Editor's Eye. Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty

It's a sure bet the biggest fans of two new Vogue projects, coinciding with the 120th anniversary of the magazine, are fashionistas, gay men, and magazine editors — in some circles (ahem) you'll find all three combined. Tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific is the debut of In Vogue: An Editor's Eye, the HBO documentary that looks at the editors behind the world's most influential fashion magazine and draws from the magazine's pretty phenomenal archives. Though it's surprisingly missing what surely would have been a rollicking interview with the flamboyant former editor at large, Andre Leon Talley, there are a few revealing behind-the-scenes interviews with editors who have contributed to the magazine’s legacy and it's produced and directed by gay World of Wonder duo Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (Google 'em — they've had a hand in many hot projects).

The interviewees include current editor in chief Anna Wintour; fashion editors such as Grace Coddington, Tonne Goodman, Polly Allen Mellen, Camilla Nickerson, Phyllis Posnick, and Babs Simpson; designers Alber Elbaz, Nicolas Ghesquière, Marc Jacobs, and Vera Wang (herself a former Vogue fashion editor); and several Hollywood fashionistas-turned-Vogue muses including Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman.

“The people who are responsible for the fashion images are the fashion editors,” says Wintour.  “They have always been our secret weapon, so it seemed to me that we could celebrate Vogue, and also, at the same time, celebrate these great editors.”

If reading is more your thing, there is a companion book on the same subject, Vogue: The Editor’s Eye, which was published by Abrams in October.

An even more interesting volume — which has been released on hardback and, even better for holiday road-trippers, audiobook by Random House — is Grace Coddington's new memoir, Grace. The audio version is read by the crimson-haired and iconic Vogue editor herself. Like Coddington in person, the memoir is blunt and willful and beguiling all at once, as the magazine's current creative director describes her early career as a model (and the auto accident that killed it), her two marriages, her relationship with Wintour (famously portrayed in The Devil Wears Prada), and her three-decade-long romance with Didier Malige. There's plenty of fashion gossip too.

Coddington became a semi-household name after appearing in the 2009 documentary The September Issue, and her fans are legion inside and outside the industry. This book helps illustrate why. Rapper Kanye West even tweeted a photo of her new memoir earlier this month to show he was reading it too.

 

Tags: television

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