What does the world's most influential fashion editor need? Her own musical, of course. That's right – Anna Wintour has inspired her first stage show in the form of Ryan Raftery Is the Most Powerful Woman in Fashion, a one-man show written and performed by New York comedian and playwright Ryan Raftery.
The jukebox musical follows the editor as she deals with the backlash from putting Kanye West and Kim Kardashian on the April issue of US Vogue. "Anna is convinced that she’s getting fired," Raftery explained to Next. “So she spends the day ruminating about her life." (FYI – that issue of Vogue sold an estimated 250,000 copies, so we think the real-life Wintour's job was probably fine.)
Raftery has staged an annual solo musical based on his personal life for the past five years, but ran out of inspiration for 2014. The muse – that is, Anna Wintour herself – struck when he was about to cross the street in Midtown, New York and realised he was standing next to Wintour. He automatically wished her good morning, and Wintour grimaced at him.
"It was exactly what you want Anna Wintour to do to you," Raftery said. "She was by herself; she was holding her Starbucks cup with her arms folded. It was the perfect inspiration." In The Cut, he describes the allure of Wintour as "Darth Vader and Hilary Clinton in one little package".
Songs in the musical include a parody of "Let It Be" called "Let It Die", in which Wintour discusses Kim Kardashian's impact on pop culture. Needless to say, the events depicted in the play are entirely fictional.
Although Wintour is a keen theatre-goer (she co-hosted the 2012 Evening Standard Theatre Awards with Christopher Bailey), don't expect to see her in the audience. "I mean, she left the Met Ball early," Raftery said. "She is not going to come downtown to see some fairy in a $5 Ricky’s wig prance around the stage for an hour."
Ryan Raftery Is the Most Powerful Woman in Fashion debuts tonight in New York, but will return for an encore performance on 5th September to coincide with New York Fashion Week. You can buy tickets for the show from publictheater.org.
Head here to read (the real) Anna Wintour's tips on making it in the fashion industry.
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