Chilly Wintour: 'The September Issue,' Vogue's Anna Wintour

February 23, 2010

VOGUE EDITOR ANNA Wintour is oft vilified for her ice queen persona and — thanks to a deliciously frosty performance by Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” — unrivaled ranking as World’s Bitchiest Boss. But while Wintour’s withering gaze can make even the most lauded designer quake in his Gucci loafers, she’s recently begun to expose a side of herself that is wholly sympathetic — and maybe even a little bit sad.

Nothing has been more revealing than the excellent documentary about Vogue, “The September Issue,” released on DVD Tuesday (we suggest you spring for the special $30 Barnes & Noble version, which offers exclusive behind-the-scenes extras). On the surface, the film doesn’t do much to refute Wintour’s “Nuclear Wintour” nickname: For most of the film, she’s cast as the humorless counterpart to colleague Grace Coddington’s happy creativity. But closer inspection reveals a surprising isolation.

Yes, she’s revered, but you have to wonder: Does she ever just grab a beer, kick back and have a good laugh? It might appear that she has everything — right down to subservient assistants and next season’s Prada — but it looks pretty lonely at the top.

Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

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Rudi Greenberg | February 23, 2010