Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Devil Wears Prada

I saw this movie last night with my girlfriend and it was so much fun. We kept whispering and pointing out the shoes, outfits and jewelry we liked.

Side note: Does anyone know how we can get knock offs of these clothes?? We want them! My friend and I loved, loved, loved her white shirt with black off-the-shoulder sweater and the Chanel necklaces. This is something we could wear to work so we want that black sweater. Is there some site or something that will tell plebians how to achieve high-fashion for merely hundreds of dollars instead of thousands? Where do we get a hat like that?

Anyway, I had read the book last year or so and enjoyed it. Definitely a fun book and the movie followed it well. They changed a few things, but that was more to streamline the film.

I related to Andrea's character on so many levels and watching this movie, memories came rushing. When I graduated college, I wanted to be in advertising. So, when I was 21 I had an internship with a small advertising shop in NYC. Most of my time was spent on the NY Times Crossword puzzle because they didn't have work for me. The artists and business managers would tease me about not having any work. They paid me $60 a week to cover my transportation, that was it.

Other days were exciting. They were doing an ad campaign for Riveria sunglasses so they needed models with versatile looks to handle all the glasses. So, we went to a few 'go-see' (model auditions) with the art director and photographer. The task for each male and female candidate was to try on variety of sunglasses and see if they had a versatile face.

They're rather ordinary, decent looking people that you see all over NYC. However, the director would say "Her nose didn't align properly." or "Her butt is too wide for a swimsuit." So, if you were a model, what do you do? Change your nose? It's a business where they want you or don't. Not much you can do about it, but keep trying.

By the way, I dressed like a total dork on those days, much like Andrea in the movie. Really, I was part of the creative side, not fashion. However, I'm quite fashion-challenged anyway, so I don't know what I would've done. I remember one nice model who chatted with me and was fascinated with my life as a college student and intern. I'm thinking, "You were on the cover of an Italian fashion magazine when you were 17! What the hell!"

Anyway, we also had to do a spread for children's clothing. All these little kids and mothers came for the photo shoot at this studio. As the intern, I got to tote around some toddlers (who knew my summer as a camp counselor would come in handy?) They had one shot with the girls in "country" outfits and they thought it'd be cute if one had a straw hat, carried a fishing pole and toy fish showing what she caught. Oh, we should send the intern on a search in a random part of NYC to go find a straw hat and a plastic fish.

So, I wandered and found a toy store specializing in aquatics (only in NYC!). The straw hat was $50 (only in NYC!). They didn't like the hat because it was too fancy and we'd be over budget for a $50 prop. So I had to return it.

One more resemblance to Andrea was the name. In the story, her boss calls her by other names, not her own. The art director called me "Sweetie" "Honey" and all sorts of words like that. I cringed a bit, but didn't say anything. I noticed that when he introduced me, he never said my name. So, the more I repeated my name, he *got* the pronounciation down. Once he got my name, he totally stopped using those substitutions.

Anyway, instead of advertising, I fell into nonprofit and eventually software. It's ironic that my client now is a large ad agency in NYC. I went there for a meeting recently and was blown away by their sleek office and the coffee bar in the reception area. I felt like a country bumpkin walking in (all we have is a water cooler to offer our visitors). Anyway, I don't think I could work there any more - at least at this stage in my life. All we do now at work is complain about "marketing people."

So, "The Devil Wears Prada" is definitely a fun movie and if I had a clue about fashion world, I'd probably recognize more people in it.

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