Fashionistas must have thought there was peyote in their popcorn Tuesday night when Vogue editrix Anna Wintour showed up at a VIP screening of "The Devil Wears Prada."
Could the imperious style queen have deigned to see the movie based on the book that had so mercilessly lampooned her?
But, sure enough, it was Wintour.
She felt brave enough to dispense with her signature runway safety goggles. But she took care to surround herself with a posse that included boyfriend Shelby Bryan and daughter Bee Schaffer.
Word is Meryl Streep, who plays editor Miranda Priestly, had persuaded Wintour to come by, assuring her that her character was an amalgam of other fashion arbiters - ladies like Diana Vreeland, Polly Mellon, Grace Mirabella and Liz Tilberis. Plus, Streep had been nice enough to strip Priestly of her Wintourish British accent.
It was fine to see Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson, Campbell Scott, Martha Stewart and Candice Bergen. But what if she got caught in an elevator with Lauren Weisberger, the former Vogue assistant who turned her stint at the mag into a best seller. Ever since the book's publication in 2003, Wintour had refused to dignify it with a comment.
What if Wintour ran into the willowy Weisberger? Organizers were determined not to let it happen.
"They purposely seated Lauren and Anna on opposite sides of the theater," says one source. "As far away as humanly possible."
Disappointingly, the plan worked. Wintour escaped the theater without a confrontation with the young woman who'd gotten rich off her.
"I heard she was there," Weisberger told us. "I haven't run into her since the book came out. We travel in different circles. All I know is that it was one of the most exciting nights of my life."
And how did Wintour like the film?
She thought it was very entertaining," said her spokesman. "It was satire. What's not to like?"