Within the early 2000s, high-end trend was inescapable in mainstream popular culture. Intercourse and the Metropolis made Manolo Blahnik a family title, whereas Gossip Woman confirmed teenagers as savvy shoppers of designer baggage. Print trend magazines nonetheless loomed giant and trend blogs have been taking off as a way of self-expression. The Satan Wears Prada, the 2006 adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s dishy 2003 novel, is the final word ’00s trend movie, capturing all of the high-end developments and designers of the time in a breezy rom-com bundle.
As Andy, the intense younger assistant to Anna Wintour surrogate Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep at her most fabulously haughty), Anne Hathaway goes by a trend transformation that’s mainly a extra refined model of the nerd-to-princess one she went by in The Princess Diaries 5 years earlier. Initially of the movie, Andy sees the style world as one thing beneath her journalistic ambitions, and clothes in a cable knit sweater paired with a plaid skirt. Her outfit has all the standard signifiers of frumpiness: her sweater is pulled over a collared shirt, and her knee-length skirt is just too lengthy to be thought-about horny by Hollywood’s slim requirements. Her makeover is inevitable.
The costumes in The Satan Wears Prada have real-world trend cred, due to designer Patricia Subject, who helped set up the designer-name look of the aughts together with her work on Intercourse and the Metropolis, and who was a fashion-world fixture for many years earlier than that. Subject’s seems are luxe and completely put collectively, however they typically have a little bit of an edge, and have a tendency to ignore Coco Chanel’s previous adage about all the time taking off one accent earlier than you permit the home. As soon as Andy has her high-fashion transformation, she isn’t with no trendy accent, whether or not it’s a newsboy hat, a bunch of necklaces, a pair of gloves, a press release bag, or some mixture of the above. Working in trend could have its pitfalls, however all through the movie, Andy learns how a well-chosen outfit can provide you confidence and an on-point accent recreation can function armor in a superficial world. Who knew that considered one of Hathaway’s traces — “The Chanel boots? Yeah, I’m.” — would flip into considered one of immediately’s most viral memes and a timeless clapback?
It’s been 15 years for the reason that movie’s launch, and it’s humorous to contemplate that Andy would’ve even gotten her trend job within the first place. It’s additionally even funnier nonetheless to assume that she’d be getting paid for it. With the way in which publications have downsized and female labor has been much more devalued, it’s extra probably she’d be an unpaid intern — very like Lauren Conrad, who famously interned at Teen Vogue on “The Hills,” which additionally debuted on MTV in 2006. The Satan Wears Prada took the facility of trend magazines as a given: All through, Andy is instructed that “tens of millions of women would kill for her job,” and the movie balances fashion-world glamour and real-world chaos in a means that feels downright playful in comparison with immediately’s fixed discussions about unpaid work and millennial burnout.
The Satan Wears Prada could take quite a few trend cues from the true world, utilizing true-to-life designers and editors as inspiration, however an enormous a part of its enchantment comes from the way it provides the world of trend such a fairytale construction. In fact, Andy will get a contented ending, in the end transferring on to a job extra suited to her mental pursuits, however she additionally positive aspects an appreciation for the artwork of trend (thanks partially to Miranda’s iconic “cerulean” monologue).
It’s a win-win scenario: She will get to put on the thigh-high Chanel boots and see how trend generally is a supply of enjoyable whereas additionally creating abilities from her trend assistant gig that she will be able to in the end switch to the job of her goals. The Satan Wears Prada is aware of that trend can typically be annoyingly elitist, however extra importantly, it realizes that trend also can empower and delight when executed proper.