Many would fall in love with Andrea “Andy” Sachs' story as she tried to deal with the intense demands of the devil/her boss, Miranda Priestly, in hopes of a recommendation that would allow her to work for any publication she wanted. The novel would become a New York Times bestseller, spawning a feature film starring Anne Hathaway as Andy and Meryl Streep as the boss.
When released in 2006, the film, similar to the novel, was beloved and praised by many, quickly cementing itself as an iconic fashion film. Paired with the relatable story of dealing with an unbearable boss was the stellar high fashion showcased mainly through the protagonist.
The film's Costume Designer, Patricia Field's, success with the show Sex and the City would bleed into the film due to her dedication to using luxury fashion designers and pieces, as well as her attention to detail to demonstrate how in sync Andy's style evolution was to her overall character growth.
Starting Off on the Wrong Foot
Source Vogue Australia
At the beginning of the film, Andy presents herself as someone who, not only doesn't care about fashion but, takes herself so seriously that she feels above the fashion labels. She dresses poorly, knows nothing about the fashion industry and looks down at everyone else from her high horse.
Andy's arrogance does come to bite her and her cerulean sweater in the butt as she discovers just how hard it is to fit in fashion. After several faux pas, Andy is promptly put in her place by Miranda, who informs Andy that she's not better than everyone else if she chooses to be uninvolved in fashion.
Miranda uses Andy's cerulean sweater to emphasize that seriousness and impact of the fashion industry, making the moment unforgettable. This moment in the film also served as a turning point for the character, who got the wake-up call she deserved.
A Classic 2000s Movie Makeover
After being humiliated in front of her coworkers by Miranda, Andy decides that she needs a complete makeover in order to earn the respect of her peers and colleagues in fashion. At Nigel's reluctance, Andy gets a transformation that would lead to one of the most iconic fashion montages and makeovers in film. This turn wasn't shocking to most since the nerd-to-hot girl trope was a common trope in most 2000s movies and TV shows.
With a little help from Nigel, Andy enters the office wearing thigh-high Chanel boots and a Chanel blazer, beginning to blend in with the sophisticated environment of the magazine company. She also displays a change in mindset as she begins to take her job far more seriously than before, not having her mind dead-set on using it as merely a stepping stone.
Continuing the transformation would be an unforgettable montage of five looks, ranging from an all-white look from the Chanel newsboy cap to the Yigal Azrouel coat, and to a 1960s green coat dress ensemble from What Goes Around Comes Around vintage shop that is topped off by an all-black Chanel ensemble with Jimmy Choo boots and layered necklaces. Andy shows follow-through in her dedication to her style elevation, continuing to gain a stronger and broader knowledge of the industry.
We'll Always Have Paris
By this point in Andy's story, she has completely submerged herself in the fashion world, and as a result, had shown changes in herself that were both good and bad. While she did earn respect within the workplace, and attend high fashion events, she was still being overworked by Miranda— Which came at the expense of her relationships with her friends, family, and boyfriend.
After her breakup, Andy goes to Paris Fashion Week as Miranda's assistant. She has a serious conversation with Miranda, discussing how she truly does not want the life that Miranda has. Despite being at the top of her game, she is ultimately very lonely as a result of her divorce, and overall lack of connection with her children.
Despite Miranda's attempts to convince her to stay in the field of fashion, Andy leaves the limo and throws her cell phone, a constant reminder of how overworked she is, into a fountain and walks away from the world of fashion wearing a black and green dress showing that while she is mourning having to leave her job, she is ready to grow in a place more suited to who she is.
The New and Improved Andy
By the end of the film, Andy has completely transformed from who she used to be at the very beginning. Her final outfit of a brown leather jacket over a black turtleneck with denim jeans and brown boots, creates a relaxed, yet chic look that demonstrates how she has not only been shaped by the fashion industry but how she has also found a way to stay true to herself.
The outfits in The Devil Wears Prada continue to maintain space in people's minds not only because of the many beautiful clothes present, or the fact that they bring nostalgia for many, but also because of their ability to evolve and grow with the characters of the film, almost becoming another character in the movie.