In Vogue: The Editor's Eye
By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Fascinating battle stories from fashion's front line.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The values of vision and hard work are praised frequently, and the cast full of women are recognized as creative and powerful. At the same time, beauty is venerated over everything else at Vogue: friendship, kindness, loyalty, and the like.
Positive Role Models
Queen bee Anna Wintour comes off as more kindly here than elsewhere, but many of the editors are unashamedly difficult in pursuit of a good picture. Grace Coddington and other editors work hard at their jobs and are at the top of their careers.
Violence & Scariness
Some images shown, such as one where a model cleans up what looks like a crime scene, are somewhat disturbing.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Romance is not the focus here, but viewers will see a few bare breasts and many revealing outfits when images from the magazine are shown. Some sexual language is used to describe photos, like "phallic."
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A couple of "damns."
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Products & Purchases
The documentary centers entirely on editors at Vogue, which will no doubt make those who enjoyed In Vogue want to read the magazine, and possibly to try to dress/look like the models in its photographs.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some models smoke in magazine images.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that In Vogue: An Editor's Eye features a few bare breasted models and images of models smoking, but otherwise contains little to concern parents. With many interviews of Vogue editors and directors, the movie will be too talky for younger kids and may even bore teens who are just looking for fashion, not information. But those with a yen for fashion, fashion magazines, or Vogue in particular will appreciate the backstories behind iconic images in Vogue's history. Though it's never explicitly mentioned, all of the editors interviewed for In Vogue are female, which sends a powerful message about female business acumen. That image is undermined somewhat by the pictures taken from Vogue, which almost unilaterally feature young, thin, white women in revealing outfits with lots of leg and/or cleavage showing.
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What's the Story?
For over 100 years, Vogue magazine has run some of the most striking, lovely, ethereal, and even weird images in fashion. The people responsible: A cadre of dedicated fashion editors spotlighted in IN VOGUE: AN EDITOR'S EYE. Through interviews with the editors who made Vogue great along with backstory on some of Vogue's most iconic images, viewers will swiftly learn that behind every great image, there's a lot of hard work. Longtime editor Anna Wintour makes an appearance, but she largely takes a backseat in favor of chats with Vogue's indomitable creative director Grace Coddington, and the somewhat terrifying Polly Mellen, a former protege of style icon Diana Vreeland. Celebs such as Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker also make an appearance, talking about their shoots with the Vogue editors spotlighted.
Is It Any Good?
Even those who weren't Vogue fans before watching In Vogue are likely to be by the time they're done watching this. The tough, clever, hard-working, and wily women of a certain age are a beguiling lot, and the images they create do tend to stay in the mind. "They give us access to another world," Kidman says of fashion editors. "They give us access to dreams."
Fashion followers and Vogue readers will be in absolute ecstasies over getting to hear the inside story behind such famous Vogue images as Nastassja Kinski all wrapped up in a giant snake, or a Doberman closing its jaws on Christy Brinkley's hapless leg. Though such images do owe a debt to luck and timing, they're ultimately brought together by the fashion editors spotlighted in In Vogue, who are simultaneously creative muses and arbiters of taste.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why many of the fashion editors in In Vogue are former models themselves. Why would a woman stop modeling and start working behind the camera? What about the passage of time makes this career trajectory happen repeatedly for these women?
Does Vogue look like a fun place to work? What about In Vogue brings you to this conclusion? Would you enjoy working at Vogue? Why or why not?
Many of the images spotlighted in In Vogue are disturbing rather than beautiful, i.e. the picture of the dog biting the model's leg. Why would a fashion magazine run a photograph that's not beautiful? What do you think photographs such as these are trying to make you feel?
- On DVD or streaming: June 4, 2013
- Cast: Grace Coddington, Hamish Bowles, Nicole Kidman
- Directors: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
- Studio: HBO
- Genre: Documentary
- Topics: Great Girl Role Models
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: December 9, 2022
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