Thanks to Meryl Streep's uncanny performance of an Anna Wintour-like creature in The Devil Wears Prada, many of you might think that Anna Wintour is, in fact, a devil all dressed in Prada. What many people with an HBO subscription and spare time to toss into their Thursday-night television-watching tire fire will soon learn, however, is that Anna Wintour is not at all the frozen-hearted, deeply unhappy woman who nearly ruins Anne Hathaway's easy access to Adrian Grenier's grilled cheeses — she's actually very warm and fuzzy, not unlike a Furby.
At least, that's according to Fenton Bailey, the co-director of the HBO documentary In Vogue: The Editor's Eye. Bailey insists that Wintour is nothing at all like the terse, ice-pick eyed character of popular misconception.
The person we met was really unrelated to the popular myth, although she did wear Prada. We experienced someone accessible, smart and fuzzy. I kept waiting for the ice princess, but instead we got a Furby.
Whether Wintour would take to being characterized as a Furby is debatable (she'd hate it — everyone would), but one thing is certain: Bailey's metaphor is very revealing because Furbies, as most of us know, are horrifying toys whose wide, soulless eyes speak only of murder. If a horror movie auteur wanted to make a movie about a mad-scientist toymaker who decides one holiday season to create a toy capable of murdering all the world's most guileless children, that movie would be about Furby, a toy whose frumpy exterior just barely hides relentless, mechanized urge to commit savage acts of pure evil. Of course, it's not fair to cherry-pick one little word out of Bailey's backhanded compliment to Wintour, but, then again, have you ever been awakened by a Furby that had somehow managed to sneak under your bed and conserve its battery life just to frighten you one night many years after a young sibling received said Furby for Christmas? I rest my case.
The documentary may prove interesting for those who want a glimpse of the editorial process at Vogue, and Wintour does give due credit to her editorial group, described by Bailey as a team of "workhorses," which, again, seems like an unfortunate compliment.
HBO's ‘In Vogue' [NYDN]