Fashion

5 Fashion Editors On The Devil Wears Prada 15 Years Later

So many thoughts on those Chanel boots.

On 'The Devil Wears Prada''s 15th anniversary, five fashion insiders share their favorite moments fr...
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The Devil Wears Prada officially turns 15 this year. The film adaptation of the book — a favorite among the fashion set in the early aughts — immediately resonated with audiences. Meryl Streep as the ultra chic, ultra terrifying editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly delivered one-liners that are meme-ified to this day. And who can forget that fabulous montage moment to Madonna’s Vogue after Andy (Anne Hathaway) finally discovers the fashion closet?

While there’s much to love about the film, there’s also quite a bit to scrutinize, especially after 15 years. For one, who’s the real villain? Many argue that Andy’s less-than-supportive friends and boyfriend were problematic. But then again, wasn’t Andy being subjected to the very worst parts of hustle culture that we’ve all come to realize are quite toxic?

There’s also the question of how true to life the movie is. While some fashion editors recognize that cattiness among bosses and co-workers is pervasive, others acknowledge that industry culture has changed since TDWP. “There is a stark contrast between the behaviors of the old guard and the new guard of fashion,” freelance fashion editor Lauren Fisher tells Bustle, “part of which I’m sure was influenced by The Devil Wears Prada.”

The industry is a lot less glamorous as well. “The opulence depicted was accurate at the time, but now that is nowhere near the way things work for most fashion editors,” says Instyle Senior News Editor Alyssa Hardy. “You’re not going into closets to grab the new Chanel boots.”

Ahead, five fashion insiders open up to Bustle about their favorite fashion moments from the iconic film and whether it still holds up in 2021.

Tyler McCall, editor-in-chief, Fashionista

Photographer: Elana Mudd

What’s your favorite look and scene from the movie?

There are so many incredible looks in this movie, but one that has held up the longest is an all-black outfit Andy wears to pick up something from the James Holt party. The flash of sheer tights under a short dress and a pair of knee high boots is so subtly sexy — I get why Nate loses his mind over it when he runs into Andy on the street. Plus, who didn’t covet a multi-layered Chanel necklace back in 2006? I’m not sure this is my favorite scene, but the one I think about most is [when] Andy throws her Sidekick into a fountain in Paris. Is that because I’ve frequently fantasized about throwing my phone in a fountain? Who’s to say?

How did the movie influence your interest in working in fashion?

When I first saw The Devil Wears Prada, working in fashion wasn’t even on my radar. I loved reading magazines and putting together outfits, but a job in fashion seemed as impossible as visiting the moon. I’m not sure the movie did much to make me believe otherwise.

How accurately does the movie depict what it’s really like to work at a magazine/media company?

Honestly, so much has changed since the movie, but I have to say...some of it still feels very real. I’ve had my fair share of catty moments from Emily’s in the halls of publishing houses.

Cortne Bonilla, branded content editor, Vox Media

Courtesy photo

What’s your favorite look and scene from the movie?

My favorite look from the movie is when Miranda has on a green animal skin coat. My favorite scene is when Madonna is playing while Andy is shifting outfits on her commute. It always sparks a chill in me when I think about strutting the streets in a look that makes me feel good.

How did the movie influence your interest in working in fashion?

As a pre-teen, my mom and I watched this movie over and over again together. At the time, I was living in middle-of-nowhere southern Georgia and my main goal was to move to New York. Every movie I watched was about New York and it really pushed me to get to this city.

How accurately does the movie depict what it’s really like to work at a magazine/media company?

Depending on where I’ve worked, yes. Media or other fashion companies I’ve worked at are filled with inspiring women walking the halls [and] clicking in their heeled boots or mules. A lot of girls are mean, but that also was in the past. Things are a bit different these days, but there are always mean girls in every industry. I will say, however, being surrounded by fashion girls is always inspiring, aesthetic wise.

Eliza Huber, fashion writer, Refinery29

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What’s your favorite look and scene from the movie?

Hands down my favorite look from the movie is the charcoal mini dress Andy wears with tights, knee-high black boots, a slouchy coat, and a tangle of gold Chanel chains, probably because I own pretty much the exact same outfit (sans Chanel) and wear it constantly. I love the look of a really short dress with tall boots. The combination is my go-to confidence booster.

How did the movie influence your interest in working in fashion?

Honestly, I don’t really think it did. It was never one of my favorite movies. I’m not even sure I liked it at all. I always preferred to watch movies that weren’t necessarily fashion-focused, but had really great clothes, like Factory Girl or Love Story.

How accurately does the movie depict what it’s really like to work at a magazine/media company?

The fashion/magazine/media industry has changed a lot since TDWP came out. Maybe that really was what working at a fashion magazine was like. Hell, I’ve heard horror stories. But I can’t say that I’ve experienced anything similar to what Andy or Emily went through in the movie. It’s a demanding and busy job at times — Nate should’ve understood that — but what job isn’t?

Alyssa Hardy, senior news editor, InStyle

Courtesy photo

What’s your favorite look and scene from the movie?

My favorite scene is when Miranda gives a speech to Andrea about the cycle of fashion. Whether the writers realized it or not, she hits the nail on the head when she talks about one shirt representing countless jobs. To me, that is one of the most important things to remember about clothing and that scene is just so well done. I also always loved that little dress they are styling for the photoshoot.

How did the movie influence your interest in working in fashion?

It was more of a chicken and egg. I loved the movie because it was about fashion and magazines. Before I was able to break into the industry, I would consume anything even mildly fashion adjacent just to get a taste of it. I will say that seeing that toxicity play out, I really didn’t want that to be something I let into my world.

How accurately does the movie depict what it’s really like to work at a magazine/media company?

Some elements are accurate. The seriousness with which people take their jobs is certainly similar — sometimes in a very bad way. The opulence depicted was accurate at the time, but now that is nowhere near the way things work for most fashion editors. You’re not going into closets to grab the new Chanel boots.

Lauren Fisher, freelance fashion editor and consultant

Courtesy photo

What’s your favorite look and scene from the movie?

The Madonna Vogue fashion montage through the city is the quintessential movie makeover, but it’s the “Are you wearing the…Chanel boots?” scene for me. The crested Chanel blazer, the over-the-knee boots, the hair flip! But the real chef’s kiss is the shocked looks on her co-workers’ faces. Iconic.

How did the movie influence your interest in working in fashion?

The Devil Wears Prada made me both terrified and ecstatic to work in fashion. In a way, it helped me enter the industry not taking any of it too seriously because I found the comedy and ridiculousness in some aspects of it. The secret to success is achieving the perfect balance between Andy and Miranda.

How accurately does the movie depict what it’s really like to work at a magazine/media company?

The interesting thing is that The Devil Wears Prada came before the digital era of fashion magazines, so it didn’t really capture that world at all — which is so different from its print magazine counterpart. Certain aspects of the movie are accurate: the unspoken intimidation, the abundance of insanely priced designer pieces, the egos of those who take themselves way too seriously. But in my experience, those are just tiny parts of the industry. There are so many genuinely intelligent, kind, and talented people who outweigh the negative stereotypes. There is also a stark contrast between the behaviors of the old guard and the new guard of fashion — part of which I’m sure was influenced by The Devil Wears Prada.