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?... 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.
Now, here's actual, real-life confirmation from the filmmaker R.J. Cutler that those words weren't just a diva-channeling screenwriter's invention. Mr. Cutler “had permission from Vogue's legendary editor, Anna Wintour, to document the process of creating the magazine's September 2007 issue, a fashion-industry bible,” writes film critic Andrew O'Hehir. The result is the “remarkable” documentary The September Issue. From Mr. O'Hehir's interview with Mr. Cutler:
[T]hat breakfast scene in Paris, where Anna and other people from Vogue are meeting with the CEO of Neiman Marcus...
That's Neiman Marcus/Bergdorf Goodman, the largest luxury goods retailer in the country. And yes, they're fundamentally telling Burt Tansky, the CEO, what to put on his shelves.
I was sitting there thinking, “The handful of people in that room are deciding what's going to be sold throughout the fall season."
Right there, they're deciding what people will wear. That's what they do. You know, when the minister of finance for Louis XIV convinced him that France should become a major exporter of fashion, that it should be one of the leading industries, he appointed a minister of fashion. And that minister of fashion would decide where the hemlines were and what the fashion in the court would be, every year. That decision affected the world's fashion because it was exported from France to the rest of the world. This is what Anna is doing! She's sitting there as minister of fashion of the world, with her associates, and declaring what we shall wear.