The Devil Wears Prada seems to be everyone’s favourite fashion movie. And TBH it’s been one of my faves too because what’s not to love? Meryl Streep is fantastic and believable as Miranda Priestly, a powerful fashion magazine editor with the rudest catchphrases. And that’s the kind of screenplay that truly made the movie timeless. I go back to this movie all the time, on a gloomy day and on a great one too. But the more I kept watching the movie, the more I realised all the things I hated about it. Well nothing about how The Devil Wears Prada was made, but just the light it shed on how the fashion world runs.
And while I don’t want to launch into a rant about how the industry works or divulge deep dark secrets about it. I just want to talk about the movie. I’m not trying to poke holes in your favourite movie but I need to talk to someone about this.
The Devil Wears Prada: The bossy boss
The beginning montage of the movie makes me want to live abroad and get dressed the way these lovely leged ladies do. It then cuts to Anne Hathaway who plays Andrea “Andy” Sachs, a college graduate who goes to New York City and lands a job as Miranda‘s assistant simply because of her larger than life intellectual argument before she leaves the office. While that is great and all for dramatic effect it’s not the best way to speak to anyone looking to hire you and yes, I do see the appeal in the challenge it provided to Priestly.
This seemed like the beginning of the end, Priestly addresses Andy as Emily until Andy‘s made a mark on Miranda. Priestly‘s total and utter disregard for her assistants was very uncomfortable to watch. She would stroll in and dump her very expensive bags and jackets on her assistant’s table. It also showed how little she valued the good things that came easy to her. Again, I know it’s all dramatic appeal and exaggerated but I get to have feelings about what I see.
I was also peeved by her expectations to get out of Miami during a hurricane and then she guilted Andy by saying she didn’t do her job. Let’s be practical, shall we? She would call at odd hours and expect their full attention. She said plenty mean things albeit I thoroughly enjoyed all those evil and mean catchphrases that yes, I know stayed true to the book as well. Yes, some days we hate our bosses because they push us, but there’s a flip side too. Now discussing Andy below.
The entitled but hard-working employee
Andrea clearly wanted to be a journalist, she had no clue about fashion so why was she there to begin with? You took a job you didn’t want and robbed someone else of a chance to build a long-lasting career. Through the movie, she laments about how she hates this job and sits on her proverbial high horse. She makes it looks like people in fashion are superficial and that everything about the industry is frivolous and lacks the intellectual authenticity that she imagines it should have. I mean, I really want to say that some of the greatest minds have been birthed through fashion.
And Nigel rightfully says, I can get another girl to take your job in five minutes—one who really wants it. Andy, be serious. You are not trying. You are whining. Wake up, six. She’s just doing her job. Don’t you know that you are working at the place that published some of the greatest artists of the century? Halston, Lagerfeld, de la Renta. And what they did, what they created was greater than art because you live your life in it. You have no idea how many legends have walked these halls. And what’s worse, you don’t care. Because this place, where so many people would die to work, you only deign to work. And you want to know why she doesn’t kiss you on the forehead and give you a gold star on your homework at the end of the day. Wake up, sweetheart.
She even snickered in the middle of a very important discussion and it was totes offensive. I love how Miranda put her right in her place after that. I think it was one of the most iconic dialogues of all time.
This…Stuff? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select, I don’t know that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you are trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, its not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent —wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets?
Then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and its sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.
The silly boyfriend and unsupportive friends
Nate is honestly the most unsupportive boyfriend I’ve seen on the big screen. He comes off like he’s sitting on a high moral ground and constantly gives her grief for trying to follow her dreams. He fights about her not having time for him. I mean is he 12? who gets upset about their partner missing a birthday. But wait, he reaps all the benefits of her newfound taste and upgrades though—douche alert!
Just like her snooty and annoying bunch of friends. They very gladly take all the presents she so graciously gives them and they were all pretty expensive. If I were her I’d have sold them and paid off my rent. And then they toy with her by not giving her, her phone when Miranda is calling. And somehow they look surprised by her angry reaction. Are you kidding me? And it doesn’t end there. Lilly, her so-called bestie taunts her and says she doesn’t know who this glamazon is. Lady! ever heard of supporting your best friend? or are you trying to puppeteer her through life? With friends like these who needs friends. If you notice these traits amongst your own friends. Please ditch! Thank me later.
The Devil Wears Prada Movie Trivia:
1. Meryl Streep initially almost walked away from the project because she thought her offer was too low. Thankfully, the producers renegotiated and doubled her salary to about $4 million.
2. Anne Hathaway wasn’t their first option to play the role of Andy Sachs—It was, in fact, Rachel McAdams, who was fresh of the success of The Notebook and Mean Girls. She turned down the offer multiple times. Anne, on the other hand, wanted the role so badly that she scribbled the words hire me in the sand of a zen garden on then—Fox 2000 executive president Carla Hacken‘s desk.
3. Emily Blunt‘s character was supposed to be voiced in an American accent, but she convinced the director David Frankel that she would be better off playing the character in her British accent. This movie changed the face of Emily’s career for good.
4. Stanley Tucci was cast 72 hours before they began shooting. It was fate because 6 years later while attending the wedding of his co-star Emily Blunt to John Krasinksi he met his wife Felicity who also happens to be Emily’s sister. Crazy no?
5. Gisele Bündchen agreed to be in the movie only if she did not play the role of a model.
6. The first bag we see Miranda carry into the Elias-Clarke office is, in fact, a Prada bag.
7. Miranda‘s office bears similarities to the real office of Anna Wintour, right from the octagonal mirror on the wall to the photographs and floral arrangements on the desk.
8. Anne Hathaway prepared for her role by volunteering for 1 week as an assistant at an auction house where she was put through the wringer.
9. Most designers and other fashion industry peers avoided appearing as themselves for fear of displeasing US Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, who is believed to have been the inspiration for Miranda‘s character.
10. Only one designer, Valentino Garavani, appeared as himself in the movie. He even designed the gown Meryl Streep wears to the gala.
11. At the table reading, Streep changed Miranda‘s last line to everybody wants to be us from the original everybody wants to be me.
12. The actress also insisted on the scenes where she explains to Andy the connection between the cerulean sweater she is wearing and the billion-dollar fashion industry and the scene where Miranda opens up to Andy, without any hair and makeup, about her divorce.
I wanted, she explained, to see that face without its protective glaze, to glimpse the woman in the businesswoman.
13. Streep made a conscious decision not to play her role as a direct representation of Wintour and that’s why she decided on a very different look and approach for her character.
14. Miranda‘s character was inspired by two men: Clint Eastwood and Mike Nichols. She said that Clint’s soft-spoken voice is what makes him this most powerful man in the room because everyone has to lean in to listen. She stole Mike’s delivery of humour.
15. Patricia Field, the costume designer believes, at least $1 million worth of clothing was used in the film, making it one of the most expensively costumed movies in cinema history.
16. The prop used for the Harry Potter manuscript was actually filled with gibberish and was sold in an online auction for $586—all proceeds went to charity.
All in all, I love The Devil Wears Prada and I’d never stop rewatching it. But I’d love to know if you guys share the same opinion about the movie? Let me know in the comments below.
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