I knew before the projector started to roll that I was going to enjoy ‘September Issue’ this afternoon at the Curzon Theatre in Mayfair. Friends who had seen it already said as much.
Those of you thinking that this is going to be a film about the Editor of Vogue Anna Wintour are going to be in for a surprise – this film is much more than that. Step forward the Welsh born, former model, Vogue Creative Director, Grace Coddington.
First and foremost this is a film about passion in the workplace. Not a single person featured couldn’t make as much money or more doing something else with a lot less stress and angst. That they choose to commit to excellence (that manifests itself in every face twitch and eyeball roll) makes you admire the energy you get from working with talented people.
But back to Coddington. She reveals that Wintour and her joined US Vogue on the same day. I doubt that either could have succeeded without the other. Coddington is the builder. Wintour is the demolisher. Coddington can visualise and deliver on a vision which is inspirational. Wintour can critique, curate and deliver a finished magazine.
It’s a reminder that in every workplace that sort of dynamic can deliver impressive results once both parties understand the ground rules.
My favourite moment came right at the end when Coddington reviewed the final mock-up on the wall and noted that ultimately, despite all the drama of her work being edited down and moved further back, balance had been restored and she dominated the magazine.