Since One Day’s screen version came out in August 2011, and the book appeared everywhere, I’d been making a conscious effort to have nothing to do with it. Neither the film nor the novel. From all descriptions I had heard, it sounded as if Nicholas Sparks had re-written the Before Sunrise trilogy. Sacrilege, I know. Sacrilege, cheese and tears.
This book made me happy and angry at the same time.
On one hand, it’s delightful: smart, witty, and insightful. It’s refreshing to find someone who loves fashion, but can take the piss out of itat the same time – a rarity in a world that generally takes itself way too seriously. And it takes the skill of a Guardian columnist to write a funny little book about frocks and socks that also mentions Ukip and Derrida
Today a classic, The Devil Wears Prada got savaged by critics when it was first came out. 10 years ago. Predictable, they deemed it. Cliché-ridden. As stupid as the world it portrays. And Lauren Weisberger, who had worked at Vogue before publishing her debut novel and greatest hit to date, was accused of ingratitude. Because, you see, a million girls would have killed for her job.
I like Sasha Grey. While Anal Cavity Search 6 doesn’t sound like my type of film, I love the idea of a (former) sex worker who campaigns with PETA, participates in a kids’ reading program, stars in an experimental drama and writes her own book, which is not entitled My Fucking Life.
I owe a lot to Roland Barthes. My relationship with him is likeH&M’s with Prada and the likes: I make a career of either quoting him (in pretty much every CSM essay) or poorly ripping off his style and ideas (my Overanalyzing series). Therefore writing anything negative about this book will mean biting the (however dead) hand that feeds me. But I’ll do it anyway, even though my consciousness hopes it’ll make me fat.
You know I don’t buy into the idea of must-haves. I do, however, believe that there are books (and films) that everyone should be familiar with. The required reading list gets longer when you claim to have a passion – yes, “even” if it’s fashion. A true fashionista is not just someone who sports the perfect LBD; she should also know who invented it and why. It’s nice to carry a Lady Dior, but even better to be able to discuss it in terms of Barthes’s mythologies. And every bag instantly becomes cooler if you pop a good book into it.
After as much buildup as The Great Gatsby had – making headlines and sparking a catwalk trend a year and a half before its long-delayed premiere – disappointment was almost inevitable. So long awaited, no wonder it’s hated (by about 50% of critics, according to Rotten Tomatoes.) I, however, having watched most of Baz Luhrmann’s films and loved none, didn’t expect much from this adaptiation. Perhaps that’s why I ended up enjoying it immensely.