I must confess that I did enjoy the fashion flick - The Devil Wears Prada. Recently I went to watch this movie and was shocked to see the faces I had never expected to see. The place was buzzing with self-proclaimed fashionistas, who would not be caught dead in their pseudo-social circuit, making a dumb statement like, "No, I haven't seen this movie", when the rest of the gang would be bragging that they saw it way back in June in New York.
Another extraordinary thing was that I had never seen women all decked up to see a flick. Mind you, they all carried a Prada-bag. While sipping my cappuccino and enjoying the social circus, my companion for the movie, a stock market analyst wondered why I was so amused? True or false: At the interval, it was a post-mortem of the first half. My buddy needed a lot of explanation. I told him "at a fashion magazine, the devil rarely wears Prada." The New York Times and Women's Wear Daily, both published articles griping that The Devil Wears Prada provides an inaccurate, outsiders' view of the fashion industry. It is true that the film gets many details wrong. No editor-in-chief worth her Manolos would wear a silk leopard-print blouse straight off the Dynasty set.
My buddy wondered if we, the desi fashion writers, too get to indulge in designer wear. I laughed out loud and rolled the sleeves of my Fab India shirt and said, "We do not have a concept of a `fashion closet' here. But even in fashion meccas of London and New York where glossies have closets, it is rare for an assistant to dress up as elaborately as Anne Hathaway. Rarer still is the girl, who would risk her job by raiding the `fashion closet' to acquire such a wardrobe.
Out of the closet: However, the movie nailed some real fashion-magazine details. In the opening scene, we see the feet of a young scribe as she replaces her clogs with a pair of Dolce & Gabbana stilettos in nervous preparation for Miranda's arrival. Indeed, working at a fashion magazine and neglecting your attire is a bit like being a dentist and failing to brush your teeth.
You must be wondering what happened to the pseudo-fashionistas? Well, they oohed and aahed at the clothes shown in the movie. I am sure that they did not know that the swingy green coat with leopard collar and cuffs, which Andy wore after her makeover, was an approximation of Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. In the scene where Miranda lectures Andy on her blue cable-knit sweater, which was made fashionable by Oscar De-La Renta, the ladies at the theatre munched on their `butterfree' popcorn looking clueless. But, just when the movie was to end, in a scene where Andy offered her designer collection from the Paris Fashion Week to her former colleague, Emily, the ladies went berserk in a chorus "Oh, no!" and I heard a lady saying, "I can take that load off, honey!"
After the movie got over, my buddy said, "If you were working for Runway, I could have borrowed a Brioni suit." We laughed but then a fear consumed me -- what if the ladies whom I met at the multiplex take the movie seriously and want to become a fashion scribe in lure of raiding the closets? So let me put the record straight -- we small-time fashion scribes don't have a closet that stocks the Bals, Tahilianis, Prataps or Sabyasachis. In fact, we have never worn one!