In an effort to discover just how much fashion has changed over the last decade, we stumbled across this Charlie Rose interview with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. It was conducted in September of 1995, which gives it a kind of fascinating edge. Ms. Wintour also comes across as rather endearing, which is sort of funny.
Aside from admitting her excitement over Wire magazine and the then-forthcoming magazine George, which was launched by the late John F. Kennedy, Jr., she speaks of “an underground German designer named Helmut Lang” and a new designer out of Italy, Miuccia Prada.
The magazine industry may have changed a lot over the last decade, but fashion, it seems, has not. Whereas the style gap between 1985—think: neon, shoulder pads, enormous coifs—and 1995—think: earth tones, loose fits, greasy locks—is alarmingly vast.
“The look that we’re seeing across the board is very grown up,” Ms. Wintour, then 45, said. “A lot of designers are calling it ‘reality check.’ I think we’ve moved on from feeling very sorry about the 80’s, when we weren’t into grunge and depression and all-black and no makeup and no eyebrows.” She goes on to say that the season’s aesthetic is all about “wearability” and being “classic” and “chic.”
Sound familiar? Perhaps that’s because fashion journalists like the Times’ Cathy Horyn continue to describe new and future trends with words and phrases like “sophistication” and “the appeal of more womanly clothes.”
It’s also safe to assume that the qualities Ms. Wintour seeks in a prospective employee haven’t changed much either. After all, she told Mr. Rose: “I’m always looking for people with a sense of news and a sense of journalism, because I don’t think a magazine can be a kind of coffee table book,” Ms. Wintour continued, “One’s always looking for young people who are willing top push the envelope and who are willing to tell you you’re an old fuddy-duddy.” Ha! For some reason, imagining a Vogue staffer calling Ms. Wintour a fuddy-duddy to her face is supremely difficult.