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 owe a lot to Roland Barthes. My relationship with him is like H&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.