How 'The Devil Wears Prada' Would Be Different in 2016

The film, which stars Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, was released 10 years ago.

ByLesley Messer
June 30, 2016, 2:28 AM
PHOTO: Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway appear in a scene from "The Devil Wears Prada."
Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway appear in a scene from "The Devil Wears Prada."
20th Century Fox/IMDB

— -- Ten years ago today, Vogue devotees everywhere flocked to movie theaters to see "The Devil Wears Prada" on opening night.

Based on a book by the same title, the film starred Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, the curt and impeccably coiffed editor-in-chief of Runway magazine, and Anne Hathaway as her ambitious assistant, Andy 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 has earned Streep an Oscar nomination -- her fourteenth.

“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.”

Significant, yes. But timeless, not so much. 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: Andy's Sidekick -- the 2006 cellphone of choice A-listers everywhere -- may well have been another appendage. Throughout the film, Miranda called Andy constantly, asking her to run small errands (picking up lunch) and big ones (procure an unpublished "Harry Potter" manuscript,) and at one point, do the impossible (book her a flight home in the middle of a hurricane). One would have to assume that these days, Andy would have an iPhone, and in addition to managing Miranda's phone calls, she'd be required to answer emails from other Runway staffers and text messages too. Still, there would be upsides. For example, at the Met Gala, when Miranda needed to be reminded of who all the guests were? Andy would have Google right at her fingertips.

2. ... And so have apps: Half of the errands that kept Andy 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? Andy 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 Andy's job and they certainly would have changed the way Runway covers fashion. After all, hasn't anybody noticed the number of stories online that revolve around the photos and comments stars post to social media?

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 73 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 Andy's job, then, would have to be adjusted accordingly.

5. New media outlets crop up everyday: 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 Andy, who had zero interest in fashion or beauty, would never 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 (see point No. 3) and another could be that before many journalism outlets had websites, there wasn't nearly as much coverage of the event. Either way, had "The Devil Wears Prada" been made today, one would assume that 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, and thus, more and more fashion bloggers have become famous, it seems that Paris Fashion Week has taken on an entirely new meaning. At the end of the film, Andy 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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