“A Million Girls Would Kill For Their Jobs”

Cult movie The Devil Wears Prada got a special screening at Light House Cinema on the 27th of September. Playing to a packed house, it was followed by a panel discussion on all things fashion related.

The Devil Wears Prada features incredible performances by all the cast, particularly the lead roles…with Anne Hathaway as novice fashion assistant at Runway magazine Andrea Sachs; her manipulative boss, Miranda Priestly, played with some venom and lethal charm by Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt as the catty first assistant Emily.

Based on the novel by Lauren Weisberger, published in 2003, it questions how far someone will go to be a success in the glittering world, where “Everyone wants to be us.”

Miranda Priestly, of course, is “rumoured” to be based on Vogue (US) magazine’s Editor in Chief, the notorious Anna Wintour as author Lauren Weisberger worked at Vogue, in similar circumstances to her heroine, Andy.

Most of the characters in the fashion world Andy comes to inhabit are shown as backstabbing and two-faced, except the suave, but loyal Nigel (Stanley Tucci) who is eventually blindsided by the wily Miranda.

Ably led by Sinead Burke AKA Minnie Melange, the panel discussion after the film consisted of talk on internship, promoting women, fashion in Ireland and, naturally, Anna Wintour.

Included in the panel were Deirdre McQuillan, Fashion Editor of The Irish Times, Miriam Burke, Editor of beaut.ie, and Rosaleen McMeel, Editor of Image magazine.

On the topic of internship, Miriam Burke said that interns are brilliant these days and can do anything. Deirdre McQuillan also spoke about “horrible bosses” and the lady she had when she was starting out who parted her hair in the centre (Deirdre’s) with a ruler.

Sinead Burke made the point that she had actually met Anna Wintour at an event in New York. She relayed how she approached the Vogue Editor, introduced herself saying – “Hello, I’m Sinead from Dublin.” She said she was warmly welcomed by Anna, who replied – “Hello, Sinead from Dublin” and introduced her to her companions.

An issue, also spoken about, which was raised by Sinead, is that fashion in Ireland is not considered as part of “culture” and so isn’t taken seriously or promoted in a serious way.

The panel discussion was I felt weighted towards print journalism, and I could see Miriam Burke of beaut.ie chomping at the bit to talk about online digital magazines, and perhaps, fashion blogging.

Some prominent issues in the film itself were excluded from the discussion. A huge debate recently online is whether Andy’s hunky boyfriend Nate (Adrien Grenier) was a “good” boyfriend or a guy dragging her down. He ridicules her new job, and sulks when she misses his birthday. Aline Brosh McKenna, screenwriter of DWP, told Entertainment Weekly,

“I think that now, however many years later, what people focus on is that he’s trying to restrict her ambition”

Maybe another debate is needed?

That’s all.

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