Fall Fashion (Ushered in by a Bit of Wintour)

My favorite movie is "The September Issue: Anna Wintour & The Making of Vogue." Wintour is the editor-in-chief of American Vogue, a position she’s held since 1988. Her story parallels my role as a loyal reader, a position I’ve held since picking up my first copy of the coveted mag that same year.

Photos in slideshow by Anthony Madonna

I love September. As a teenager, I was crazy for magazines—especially Vogue, a welcomed addition to my National Geographic and Time magazine rotation.

Anxious to see what was in store for fall and the stylish ways the models wore the clothing was all I needed to get what I call today as my "fashion fix." I would run along and report what I found to anyone who would listen. Truth be told, not much has changed.

fall fashion shoot

Photo by Anthony Madonna   

Wrapping up the shoes fashion shoot: (from left) PM
intern Amber Creed, PM managing editor Reese Randall, photographer Heather Mull and PM art director Chuck

From those September days of thumbing through Vogue to this September of creating issues for Pittsburgh magazine, one thing has changed—I now have the privilege of writing my own September fashion story. Featured in this month’s issue of Pittsburgh magazine, check out Chain Reaction, a fashion feature showing the unity fashion retail chains like Kate Spade and Nordstrom have shown by setting up shop in Pittsburgh—linking our city with the latest in fashion. Included are a mix of local chains like Larrimor’s and Roberta Weissburg Leathers, which also offer designer labels and a chain reaction of abundant fashion.

I still get that rush of excitement or fix from reading Vogue, especially now that I can watch it happen in a movie.

I also got that same rush working on our September fashion feature. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at my calendar—my version of The September Issue for our September issue—as I worked toward the launch of Chain Reaction:

April 13, 2010

Propose my Chain Reaction concept to Julie (our editor-in-chief).

April 14, 2010

E-mail Betsy (our publisher) with the idea.

May-June 2010

Call and make appointments with stores and press agents for designers to select the wardrobe for the feature. Review model cards from The Docherty Agency. Select Taylor! Our Chain Reaction superstar!

June 16, 2010

Shoot shoe part of the fall fashion story with photographer Heather Mull. I arrived with four pair of boots and three heels. I invited Amber and Tony (our interns) to the set to take pictures of behind the scenes footage. It took about 4 hours and we finally got what we wanted. Out of hundreds of shots, only one made it in the magazine.

June 23, 2010

Send confirmation email to the crew two days before the shoot to make sure nothing is missed. Pick up wardrobe and merchandise from Kate Spade, Coach, Nordstrom, White House Black Market and J. Crew. I worked with offices in New York and had shipments from BCBG Max Azria and Juicy Couture sent to me directly.

June 25, 2010

Arrive at studio with more than 20 garment bags, 15 pairs of shoes and enough accessories to fill a buffet table. Go through a quick dress rehearsal with Joanna Totolici (our fashion photographer) and Chuck (our art director), finalize order of garments. Discuss hair and makeup with Amber (hair and makeup stylist). 7 a.m., my call time; 8 a.m., model call time; 9 a.m., first shot of the day.

June 26, 2010

Return all the wardrobe I picked up here in the city, plus box up and return the shoes. It was a fun way to spend my Saturday! But worth it in the end. This is the time I get to talk to the store owners and build bonds with them.

July 7, 2010

Meet with Lisa (our marketing director) to go over language for the e-mail blast to readers describing the fall fashion feature.

July 21, 2010

Send in my fashion copy; Chuck and I work on the layout.

Aug., 5, 2010

The final piece routes among all of our editors (Julie, Sean, Kaitlyn and Kristina) before going to print.

August 6, 2010

Record voice-over for shoe video with Kaitlyn (our online editor).

August 24, 2010

Feverishly write this post for my blog.

No doubt this entire process was worth the end result. Another fall season underway with a new look at fall fashion-Vogue in hand and The September Issue unfolding all over again on a Friday night at home.