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“The Devil Wears Prada” Turns 10: How Things Would Be Different If It Were Made Today

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Evan Agostini/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Ten years ago today, Vogue devotees everywhere flocked to movie theaters to see The Devil Wears Prada on opening night.

Based on a book of the same title, the film starred Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, the curt, impeccably coiffed editor-in-chief of Runway magazine, and Anne Hathaway as her ambitious assistant, Andi Sachs.

 

With its zippy one-liners and rewind-worthy fashion montages, the film, rumored to be based on the book’s author’s experiences working for Vogue’s Anna Wintour, charmed critics and fans alike.  Ultimately, The Devil Wears Prada grossed more than $326 million worldwide and earned Streep her fourteenth Oscar nod.

 

“It’s a f***ing brilliant movie,” Stanley Tucci, who played a top Runway staffer, told Variety recently. “The brilliant movies become influential, no matter what they are about.”  In fact, this movie was so influential that there’s now a metal band called The Devil Wears Prada.  But that doesn’t mean it’s timeless.

As technology has evolved, so too has the way journalists report the news, whether it’s at a monthly magazine or elsewhere.  Among the ways The Devil Wears Prada would need to be updated in 2016:

1. Smartphones changed the game: Andi’s Sidekick — the 2006 cellphone of choice of A-listers everywhere — is now obsolete. Throughout the film, Miranda called Andi constantly, asking her to run small errands, like picking up lunch, and big ones, such as procuring an unpublished Harry Potter manuscript.  She also asks her to do the impossible, like book her a flight home in the middle of a hurricane.  These days, Andi would have an iPhone, and in addition to managing Miranda’s phone calls, she’d be required to answer emails and texts from other Runway staffers. But there’s an upside: at the Met Gala, when Miranda needed to be reminded of who all the guests were, Andi would have Google right at her fingertips.

2. … And so have apps: Half of the errands that kept Andi so busy now can be accomplished in seconds by using an app. Miranda wants lunch? Fire up Seamless. Miranda needs a ride? That’s why we have Uber and Lyft. Miranda’s flight was canceled? Andi could look at alternative options using Kayak or JetSmarter.

3. Social media has exploded: Beginning in 2006, Facebook, previously a service for select college students, became available to anybody over the age of 12 who had an email address and wanted to join. That same year, the first tweet was sent. Since then, both social media platforms have become major reporting tools for media companies, as have Instagram and Snapchat. At least one of these platforms would have influenced Andi’s job and they certainly would have changed the way Runway covers fashion.

4. The 24-hour news cycle has taken over: Vogue has long been considered the fashion Bible, but for those looking to get their daily fix of the brand, Vogue.com has it all. More recently, the fashion magazine launched its app, which was promoted by Wintour herself in a video. In fact, Wintour has become more and more of a celebrity as the brand has evolved, doing interviews on TV and even answering questions for one of Vogue’s digital franchises. In The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda Priestley is equal parts feared and revered, partially because she was such a mysterious entity. Today, she’d have to do more press herself — and Andi’s job would have to be adjusted accordingly.

5. New media outlets crop up every day: In 2006, blogs and websites were gaining popularity, but many journalists still only aspired to work for traditional media brands. Not so anymore. With the rise of social media and digital journalism, there are countless ways to get published and more ways to break news. It’s safe to assume that Andi, who had zero interest in fashion or beauty, would ever consider taking her Runway job in 2016, nor would it be offered to her.

6. The Met Gala is more influential than ever: The Met Gala, an annual party thrown in part by Wintour, has long been touted as one of the biggest bashes of the year for the fashion elite. However, at the time of the movie’s release, it wasn’t necessarily as popular as it is now. Why? Well, one reason may be that in the past, stars weren’t able to share photos of their experiences at the party; another could be that before many journalism outlets had websites, there wasn’t nearly as much coverage of the event. Either way, had the movie been made today, the scene featuring the Met Gala would be much bigger.

7. … And so is Paris Fashion Week: As more and more fashion brands have cropped up, more and more fashion bloggers have become famous, so Paris Fashion Week has taken on an entirely new meaning. At the end of the film, Andi gets the opportunity to travel with Miranda to the event, attending the shows and meeting the designers. However, if the film were made today, she too would need to be sure that she was appropriately dressed and coiffed at all times because she’d be photographed almost constantly on the red carpet and off. These days, street style matters too.

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