Magazine October 5, 2009, Issue

Film: Riches of Rags

British fashion editor Anna Wintour poses before the start of Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2010 women’s collection in Milan, September 24, 2009. (Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)

Two movies about Anna Wintour and Vogue have graced theaters in the last four years. First there was The Devil Wears Prada, based on a roman à clef by a former Voguette, in which Wintour was thinly disguised as Miranda Priestly, editrix of the fictional Runway, and played by Meryl Streep. Now there is The September Issue, R. J. Cutler’s documentary about the production of Vogue’s thickest issue ever — from September 2007, the last gilded autumn before the 2008 crash. And this time, Wintour gets the chance to play herself.

It’s fascinating to compare the two performances. Streep’s version of

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