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Vogue editor Anna Wintour fenced with mock-conservative talk show host Stephen Colbert last night on his show, The Colbert Report.
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The odd couple managed to have a feisty and fascinating conversation about fashion, gay marriage and whether clothing is art or mere commerce.
The latter topic gave Wintour a chance to talk about the Costume Institute Exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which compares the work of Miuccia Prada to that of famed couturier Elsa Schiaperelli.
Wintour served as the chairperson of the exhibit, and at Monday’s opening night ceremony, she wore a white Prada dress with embroidered silver stones in the shape of a lobster, a tribute to a famous Schiaparelli design made in collaboration with Salvador Dali.
Wintour more than held her own during the interview. First she told Colbert that he should take a few more risks with his own wardrobe. His shocked defense? “My suit’s not buttoned and I’m wearing a four-in-one knot!”
Turning serious about Barack Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage, Wintour revealed: “I am thrilled. There were tears in the Vogue offices. It’s a long overdue endorsement and we are honored that [Obama] has come forth finally.”
On whether or not fashion is art or just commerce: “I believe that fashion can be just something that you wear, like yourself, (pointing, ouch, to the buttoned-up Colbert) and it can also be something that is truly creative. Clothes reflect the culture and the time. A great fashion photo from the ‘60s can tell you as much about what was going on in the world as a headline in the New York Times.”
She also spoke about how Prada’s work is representative of our modern time. But Colbert resisted, “I don’t trust Prada. From what I know, the devil wears Prada and this is a Christian Nation!”
Wintour played along, scolding, “That movie was so last year.”
Anyway, after showing a brief video of Australian actress Judy Davis playing Schiaperelli (who died in 1973) in conversation with the real Prada, Wintour’s segment ended on a friendly note when she good-naturedly made a date with Colbert to kick back in her zebra-print sweats and chow down on French fries.
Now that we’d like to see.
The Colbert Report
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