After watching The Devil Wears Prada for probably the third time since its release, I took notice of a very poignant moment written into the script. A scene between the eternally unimpressed and fashion unconscious Andy Sachs played by Anne Hathaway and the severely brutal editrix Miranda Priestly played by Meryl Streep.
. . .
Miranda Priestly: [Miranda and some assistants are deciding between two similar belts for an outfit. Andy sniggers because she thinks they look exactly the same] something funny?
Andy Sachs: No, no, nothing. Y’know, it’s just that both those belts look exactly the same to me. Y’know, I’m still learning about all this stuff.
Miranda Priestly: This… ‘stuff’? Oh… ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re 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, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. 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 St Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it 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 so it’s 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 the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff.
. . .
The truth is, every single thing we wear is not necessarily hand chosen for us by the big wigs, but there are reasons that certain trends appear in every facet of the fashion world. That is what I found so captivating here. Regardless of how set some people are on claiming that they have no interest in fashion, or how little they spend on garments, if you wear clothes, you are, if nothing more, at least participating. So why not learn a little, and begin to take some pride in what we “put on out backs?”