Anna Wintour Shows Off Her Softer, More Accepting Side at Irving Penn Tribute

April 21, 2010 • Fashion

Anna Wintour is all smiles for fashion bloggers

Anna Wintour embracing her fellow fashion fanatics? Welcoming her devoted ilk with inclusive, open arms? Has the world has gone topsy-turvy?! Actually, it's true. Wintour joined European Vogue's editor-at-large, Hamish Bowles, at the Pratt Institute Monday night to honor the late fashion photography legend, Irving Penn. Anna spoke to a roomful of students, presumably intimidated into an awestruck silence,  on the state of fashion media's accessibility about her take with the ever increasing number of blogs and social networking sites. But instead of being dismissive, Wintour actually seemed on board with the current trend, saying:

"We love as much coverage of fashion as possible. We don't care at all
where it comes from, and we embrace bloggers and video and social
networking, and anyone that's talking about fashion is a good thing.

And we now have our own website that incorporates all of that. But I
think what's interesting to us with this new phenomenon that
'everyone's a fashion editor, everyone's a fashion writer' is that all
of that actually helps Vogue, because we have access and the understanding of fashion that, forgive me, but maybe some bloggers and some of the newcomers to this world have a little bit less experience of, but as I said, the more the merrier. We embrace it."

That's it? No fire breathing? No pox on the houses of all fashion bloggers? We'll take it. Wintour's gentle demeanor may have been due, in part, to her role for the evening, which was to pay tribute to her friend and former colleague Irving Penn. Together her and Bowles recounted a history of fashion photography, citing other greats like Mario Testino, Helmut Newton and Steven Meisel. But for Penn, Wintour referred to him as "one of the most important artists of the 21st century," whose "greatness was beyond dispute," and whom she was "in complete awe of." Having worked with him since her arrival at Vogue in 1988, Wintour touched on their unique connection. "I had to work out my own relationship with Irving, and it took quite a
while. We had a different kind of rapport. It was more like a date. He
was a seductive guy and I certainly had an intellectual crush on him."

As Wintour and Bowles recapped the highlights of Penn's glorious career, one had to remark on the endurance of these two titans, as they say goodbye to one of their industry's inner circle, perhaps made that much harder in the face of fashion media's changing climate.

Article and Photo Source: NY Mag
-Alia Rajput

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