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Thursday, 6. February 2003
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The haute and hard world of Vogue's Anna Wintour
By Evelyn Theiss, The Plain Dealer

Stories abound in the fashion and magazine business - and I've been told several myself - that Vogue's editor in chief, Anna Wintour, will hire staffers only if they're slim enough to fit into designer-clothing samples. (Say, a size 4 or 6, or so.) But it's not enough just to fit into them. The women who work at the country's top fashion magazine are expected to dress the part whether they can afford to or not. They can't afford to wear those $800 skirts or $500 shoes just on their salaries - I imagine family trust funds and New York's designer-sample sales help.

A new documentary on Wintour called "Boss Women: Anna Wintour" gives an in side glimpse into what it is like to work for one of the most powerful women in fashion. It will air Sunday, right in the middle of New York's Fashion Week, on WE, the Women's Entertainment cable channel. (In Cleveland, that is Channel 66 on Time Warner or Channel 140 on Adelphia Digital.) It's part of WE's monthlong focus on fashion, which includes a documentary on designer Donna Karan and "Fashion Flashback," a history of fashion since the 1950s.

I got a preview of the documentary and found its glimpse of Wintour at work fascinating, if not quite as balanced as I would like. There are, for example, no interviews with anyone who has anything critical to offer about Vogue or Wintour.

So, Wintour remains, in large part, the enigma she strives to be. She is a constant presence in the front row of all the major fashion shows in New York; Milan, and Paris. And she frequently is photographed in her trademark brunette bob and large, dark sunglasses.

But the documentary, produced by the BBC, does provide glimpses of her in edit orial meetings, as well as showing her approv ing clothes for cover shots. She is a detail- oriented boss, one who even approves seating arrangements for ta bles at benefits Vogue co- sponsors. Wintour acknowledges that she sometimes overrides her staffers' wishes when it comes to hiring their assistants.

But, she adds, her being decisive and direct is what makes Vogue run as well as it does.

Nonetheless, I still got the impression that in front of the cameras she made a strong effort not to show the icy demeanor she's known for having, which is how she got dubbed "Nuclear Wintour."

Just as interesting are the comments by one of her writers, socialite Plum Sykes, who, like Wintour, hails from England. Sykes explains how important appearance is for Vogue employees. Soon after she started working at the magazine, she says, she was directed to get her eyebrows, as well as her legs and other sundry body parts, waxed and to get frequent manicures and pedicures. Curiously, while there is concern with body waxing, there seems to be none about cosmetic dentistry.

Sykes also explains how Vogue women wear apparel to work every day that most New Yorkers would wear only to their most important social events - such as the chiffon Dolce & Gabbana skirt she wears in one interview. And, she adds, she always wears high heels when she knows she'll meet with Wintour.

We're also given a glimpse of Wintour's daily schedule. She rises at 5:45 a.m., plays an hour of tennis, then has a hair stylist and makeup artist come to her home at 7 a.m. She's at her desk shortly after 8. If she attends a party in the evening, she rarely stays more than 20 minutes. She doesn't drink and tries to be in bed by 10:30 p.m.

Of course, viewers will wonder when and what she eats, because she is exceedingly thin. Her arms, which she likes to bare in sleeveless sweaters, are muscular and have so little fat on them that every vein and sinew shows. (I've noticed this in person, but you can see it in the documentary and in photographs as well.)

By the way, those who want even more details on what it's like to work at Vogue only have to wait until April, when a thinly disguised novel about Wintour and Vogue comes out. Titled "The Devil Wears Prada," it's written by one of Wintour's former assistants.

While it is by no means comprehensive or even balanced in its portrait, "Boss Women: Anna Wintour" certainly gives us a behind-the-scenes look at a woman who is tough and, whatever her flaws, has made Vogue the success it has been during her 12 years at the helm.

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Red alert for a blue room

And this is a stolen shot (infra-red camera) of actress Tracy Shaw in "The Blue Room", as published by The Sun (special thx to Dragon from London).

Famous as the play in which Nicole Kidman revealed all, this game of sexual leapfrog presents different sexual encounters, each scene containing one partner from the previous, until they return full circle to the beginning. The actress, 29 and mainly known for her appearances in soap operas, plays 15 different women who all lust after the same man, played by Jason Connery, son of 007 legend Sean.

Bosses at Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre issued a warning about the explicit nature of The Blue Room last week. While there is no age restriction on the erotic production, in which the blonde peels off for a raunchy romp in a kitchen, officials say it is not suitable for a young audience.

Tracy, who was killed off from Coronation Street last week after seven years of playing dizzy hairdresser Maxine Peacock, is set to send pulses racing when the hit Broadway production arrives in Wolverhampton on April 28.

The bigger scan is here, but I have also this page for ya!

... Link

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