Magazine July 27, 2020, Issue

The Devil Wears Prada: CDC Edition

(Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

Fade In:

The Runway Magazine team is busily trying to arrange things for the next fashion shoot. Miranda Priestly, the imperious and impatient and withering editor in chief, sorts through the various items from the racks of couture garments. The underlings stand by, terrified.

Off to the side, Miranda’s newest assistant, Andrea, called “Andy.”

Everyone is wearing masks and staying six feet apart from one another.

Miranda waves away one of the racks.

Miranda Priestly: (Says something in an irritated and fed-up tone of voice, but because she’s wearing a mask the words are muffled and unintelligible. Her eyes are expressive.)

Subtitle: “No. And I’ve seen all this before.”

Assistant 1: (muffled, unintelligible behind a mask)

Subtitle: “Dior is trying to reinvent the sanitizer pouch, so actually it’s . . .”

Miranda Priestly holds up her hand, her eyes wide with annoyance.

Subtitle: “Where are all the other sanitizer pouches?”

Assistant 2: (muffled, unintelligible behind a mask) 

She presents some colorful hand-sanitizer pouches and clutches. Her hand is shaking in fear.

Subtitle: “Some of these work. Versace is showing a lot of florals right now.”

Miranda Priestly: (eyes rolling, withering-sarcasm noises from behind the mask)

Subtitle: “Florals? For hand-sanitizer holders? Groundbreaking.”

The assistants begin to scramble frantically.

Miranda Priestly: (muffled complaining)

Subtitle: “No. No, I just — it’s just baffling to me. Why is it so impossible to put together a decent selection of anti-COVID designer accessories? You people have had hours and hours to prepare. It’s just so confusing to me. Where are the advertisers?”

Assistant 1 shows a few pieces.

Miranda Priestly: (eyes flashing)

Subtitle: “We need more, don’t we? Oh. This is — this might be — what do you think of . . .”

She turns to Nigel, the fashion editor. She’s holding up a large plastic full-face helmet.

Nigel: (nods appreciatively and makes muffled cooing noises)

Subtitle: “Yeah. Well, you know me. Give me a full face mask and a hint of bouclé and I’m on board.”

Miranda Priestly: (questioning, huffing sounds)

Subtitle: “But do you think it’s too much like . . .”

Nigel: (definitive-sounding grunts from behind the mask)

Subtitle: “Like the Givenchy Plastic Body Boxes from July? I thought that, but no, not with the right accessories. It should work.”

But Miranda is already on to the next item.

Miranda Priestly: (exhausted tone of muffled barks)

Subtitle: “Where are the hoods for this Valentino antiviral caftan?”

The team scrambles to find them.

Miranda Priestly: (eye-rolling, sing-song muffles)

Subtitle: “Why is no one ready?”

Assistant 3 holds up three antiviral caftan hoods. They seem to be the same color.

Assistant 3: (muffle muffle muffle)

Subtitle: “Here. It’s a tough call. They’re so different.”

She holds them up for all to see. From the back, six feet from the nearest person, Andrea giggles.

 The room stops.

 All eyes on Andrea, who has realized by now that she’s made a serious mistake. She tries to hide behind her mask but can’t. Miranda has spotted her.