Thursday, 17 September 2009

the september issue






I'm all fired up today. With passion, that is. I saw The September Issue last night... finally. And, oh, how I loved it. It made me fall in love with magazines all over again. And, as many have said, the real star of the film is Grace Coddington, who is an absolute creative genius. There is a great interview with her thoughts on the film here. Of course, Anna is brilliant, clever and astute, and far less icy than I expected. I also loved having a sneak peek into her home in New York and Long Island, but preferred Grace's Manhattan pad. The photos above are from one of Grace's shoots that is featured in the documentary, called Paris Je T'aime. B.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. She says in the film that she's a romantic at heart and it's clearly evident in these images.

So is this an accurate portrayal of life on a magazine? I would say, wholeheartedly, YES! Although real living doesn't have anywhere near the budgets that American Vogue deals with (I don't think any Australian publication would come close), there were moments when I could hear the exact same conversations happening between staff.

Here are some of the things that happen on magazines that aren't always known
* an image can be beautiful but it's got to work within the story of the whole feature - if it doesn't work then it's probably going to get cut
* the magazine as a whole has to flow - it's got to have rhythm and pace and stories will get cut or extended accordingly
* covers need to be commercial (beautiful, yes, but also they have to appeal to the broadest readership possible); what lies inside can be more of a feast - from entree to main course and dessert
* everyone is passionate about their particular area - style, art direction, words - and it is matter of finding a balance between all these elements (and people!) within the magazine
* there are reshoots - sometimes just before print - it's got to work!
* people who work on magazines are passionate about their work: there are long hours, and you often have to put yourself and your opinion on the line - it's a subjective profession - but the joy of seeing your ideas come to life is wonderful.

images courtesy of vogue

24 comments:

Laura Trevey said...

very interesting points... and I can't wait to see the movie!!

xo Laura
www.brightboldbeautiful.blogspot.com

Shelley Trbuhovich said...

as a true magazine addict who knows nothing about their production, thanks for this post. i am finally going to see the sept issue next week and knowing that it is an accurate documentary of an industry i adore has me looking forward to it even more. cheers!

Little Snoring said...

Lovely images and great post. I am looking forward to seeing Valentino?

I love fashion docos and last night watched Catwalk again with Christy Turlington, a young Kate Moss and the fabulous Carla Bruni. It also has the most amazing sound track by Malcolm McLaren.

Also a great fashion/mag doco is Annie Leibovitz - My Life Through a Lens.

All fascinating...

Adriana said...

great post...very interesting points. I've always wondered about magazine work, I think it would be fabulous. Love your blog too! Can't wait to see this flick...I wonder if it will come out here?

Lauren said...

Thanks for your insight to Real Living, interesting to know what it's like behind the scenes at magazine offices. Wish there were more mags based in Melbourne! I loved The Sept Issue too. So inspiring to see all of those creative women running such a huge operation such as Vogue. Felt a bit sad for Grace in the end, her beautiful images that she poured her heart into got cut, that's the way it goes...

Anonymous said...

it's kind of sad that you have a nice blog about such creative things and yet just use a generic blogger template :(

Natalie Walton said...

Anonymous - I kind of like it's simplicity. And if it's good enough for The Sartorialist, well...

Natalie Walton said...

Shelley - obviously it's an exagerated version of what happens (budgets, etc) but it's definitely an insight - and not sensational, either.

Natalie Walton said...

Little Snoring - I agree. Saw previews for Valentino at the cinema and looks fascinating. Heard a good review about it on Radio National's Movie Show this morning too.

Natalie Walton said...

Lauren - I have certainly had times in my career when I've wished that there were more mags in Melbourne. It would be a great excuse to move there one day!

Natalie Walton said...

Yes, Laura - you should see it. And if you do, let me know what you thought.

Natalie Walton said...

Anonymous - also, I have to confess that there are some blogs out there that I've given up on visiting because it takes so long to download their images/content. I want Daily Imprint a place you come for a quick hit of inspiration. (3 columns would be nice though, and maybe, one day, when I have the time, I will work out the coding for this.) n

Shelley Trbuhovich said...

you know what i love about your site, natalie? i can jump on here, knowing what to expect but in a positive sense; it is your interviewees who take centre stage and colour your blog. (anonymous's comment is really relevant for me, and i'm glad you approved it. i am starting to think about finally getting around to doing something about my header - only so many hours, you know?! from a very un-tech-savvy blogger) x

Adriana said...

You can't please everyone Natalie! As long as you love your work and know that many of us actually like it this way and will always come and visit :)

Natalie Walton said...

Thanks, Adriana. But I am open to feedback. So comment away...

Bec Hem said...

Natalie, i'm a huge fan of your simple blog. As you said, it's all about the content. I think your blog is just beautiful and i wouldn't want to see it changed.
Simple is Classic (and Classy)!
have a fab weekend!

worldwide1 said...

Lovely images,wonderful layouts as well.

Natalie Walton said...

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. But, as I said, I'm interested in what everyone has to say - good and bad!

Exquisite Accessories said...

I so love the images they are so glam, hope the move gets shown in north queensland :)

belinda said...

I don't think the layout needs to change - i like a plain, clean layout. Maybe you could get chris to design you a simple but stylish header? then you just upload it as an image instead of text so no tricky coding knowledge required!

PS: haven't seen movie but i think you just have to look at the mastheads of american mags compared to australian ones to get a feel for the differences in budget/staff/everything. they have so, so many people in every department the writers must have to spread their work out to one paragraph a day to meet their monthly deadline!

Catherine Shields said...

Natalie, thought you summed up the movie and the drive of a fash mag slag quite well. I saw the movie a while ago and loved it.
I worked for Vogue here in Australia for some years and visited the offices of American Vogue - even met Ms Wintour herself. She is strangely awkward in real life if she doesn't know you and I can't imagine how she allowed such close scrutiny of her every move.
Grace Coddington may be an imaginative genius but Anna Wintour has that rare quality of packaging the business and creativity of fashion into something that has inspired a generation of readers.

ashley cooper said...

super jealous; it is not playing in PHX but I am chomping at the bit until I can watch it over and over again! Anna is so fabulous--I would love to live a day in here life {just for the clothes alone!}
p.s. love your blog

Natalie Walton said...

What a great story, Catherine. LOVE it!

blessmypen said...

Hi Natalie:

I was thrilled to learn about the 'what it takes' of putting a magazine together. Most interesting is the significance of the 'image' in the story.
May your visions and inspirations richly continue.

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