Devil Wears Prada’s ‘Blue Sweater’ Moment Was ‘Made Up’, Writer Says

This is a sad day for DWP (and blue sweater) fans

devil wears prada

by Sophie Wilkinson |

You will remember The Devil Wears Prada’s legendary cerulean speech, as the iconic moment Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) cuts her fashion-phobic assistant Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) down to size for having the obnoxious temerity to suggest that her sweater is just some blue thing she slung on. However, over a decade on and it turns out that the whole monologue, which explains how each and every clothing decision we make each morning when we get dressed is somehow, in some way, thanks to a billion-dollar industry, is a load of made up nonsense.

Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna recently said in an interview that the initial spiel was going to refer to plaid: ’There was a point when [costume designer Patricia Field] thought it was going to be a plaid skirt. I wrote a whole Vivienne Westwood angle — obviously’

However, ‘there was a sweater, and it was blue. The short version is, they sat on the script for a long time, and I made that script speech longer, longer, longer.’

And Meryl had the final say in the distinct colour blue that would make it into the final cut: ‘I had also sent Meryl a list of blues: lapis, azure, cerulean. She picked cerulean.’

The rest of the speech, though? In fashion terms? Absolute nonsense: ‘A lot of the fashion stuff I just made up because none of it was going to be real; it just sounded real,’ she told Vulture.

‘After the movie came out, someone was dinging us that it wasn’t based on real fashion stuff. I called David [Frankel, the director] and I was upset and he said, “Well, you know, when they make their movie and it makes $325 million worldwide and it gets nominated for Oscars, they can do it however they want!”'

Aaaand we’re not sure how that take would go down today. Consider this line in the speech: ‘that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs, and it's sort of comical how you think you made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.’

Isn’t it sort of comical that the very writer who wrote this - brilliant, wonderful - spiel didn’t quite think that fashion is serious enough to get 100% right? In a glorious industry full of clothes and reputations and mishaps and egos and people across the world all along the supply chain working really hard to create for and clothe the world, there’s plenty of drama, why make any of it up?

There is only one solution to this all - one magic fix to redemption - , The Devil Wears Prada is, after all, a story of redemption, each character - even Priestly - achieving some sort of redemption, breaking out of stereotypes, becoming better people.

Released in 2006, The Devil Wears Prada and all its sharp commentary pre-dates a glorious new age of fashion - Instagram influencers and the rise of body, racial and gender diversity they’ve brought with them, social-media driven call-out culture and a post-Rana Plaza disaster acknowledgement that sustainability, for both the planet and humans, is vital. Lady Gaga's meat dress and Nicki Minaj's bum and Angelina Jolie's leg, for goodness' sake. To make up for the initial film’s relative lack of fashion nous, and to play catch up with the huge changes to the huge industry, how about a sequel, set 10, 12 years in the future? We’d watch it enough to give the director and writer even more money to make excuses out of!

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