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  • Truth is, there is no one that can do what I do.”

  • Miranda Priestly is theperfectionist mindset

  • brought to life in one person.

  • The iconic Editor in Chief of Runway, a publication resembling Vogue,

  • knows exactly what she wants and exactly HOW she wants it.

  • For the fortieth time, no.

  • I don't want dacquoise,

  • I want tortes filled with warm rhubarb compote.”

  • No detail is too small for Miranda.

  • If I see freesias anywhere...

  • I will be very disappointed.”

  • And no excuse is acceptable for failing to meet her high standards.

  • “I actually did confirm last night—”

  • Details of your incompetence do not interest me.”

  • The devil in The Devil Wears Prada is supposedly the villain of this story.

  • Meryl Streep is the bad guy.

  • You never see it coming.”

  • Yet her pursuit of excellence also makes her a role model

  • for working women everywhere.

  • Here's our Take on how channeling Miranda's perfectionism

  • will make you the consummate professional,

  • if you're willing to pay the price.

  • That's all.”

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  • Perfectionism is defined as striving for flawlessness,

  • and being extremely critical when that bar isn't met.

  • “I saw the pictures that he sent for that feature

  • on the female paratroopers and they're all so deeply unattractive

  • The image that sticks in most people's minds is

  • the CHAOS that ensues before Miranda's arrival at work.

  • She's on her way.

  • Tell everyone.”

  • So before we even meet this character,

  • this portrait of how she impacts her environment

  • tells us she runs the tightest of ships,

  • and her expectation of perfection

  • motivates her entire staff to be better than they are.

  • “I asked for clean, athletic, smiling.

  • She sent me dirty, tired and paunchy.”

  • While everyone is always scrambling and struggling

  • to get things right for Miranda,

  • she herself never appears out of control.

  • She always maintains a precise mental picture of the plan.

  • “I want the driver to drop me off at 9:30

  • and pick me up at 9:45 sharp.”

  • She also has an encyclopedic knowledge of her industry.

  • One thought I had was enamel.

  • Um, bangles, pendants, earrings.”

  • No.

  • We did that two years ago.

  • What else?”

  • Thus, the picture that emerges is that Miranda is on a higher level

  • than everyone else, and far from lowering herself

  • to be understood by mere mortals, she demands that others keep up.

  • “I need 10 or 15 skirts from Calvin Klein.”

  • What kind of skirts do you—”

  • Please bore someone else with your questions.”

  • Her first name even comes from the Latin mirandus,

  • meaningwonderful, marvelous, worthy of admiration.”

  • We deliver it to Miranda's apartment every night, and she retu

  • Don't touch it.

  • She returns it to us

  • in the morning with her notes.”

  • There are three distinct types of perfectionism:

  • Self-oriented perfectionism, which means having high standards

  • for yourself and being self-critical when you fall short.

  • Socially-prescribed perfectionism, which is the feeling that you need

  • to live up to external expectations for validation.

  • And other-oriented perfectionism, which means expecting perfection

  • from others and being highly judgmental of their performance.

  • Miranda is a textbook illustration of other-oriented perfectionism.

  • Why is no one ready?”

  • She accepts nothing less than the best from her employees

  • and eviscerates them when they don't meet that standard.

  • It's just baffling to me.

  • Why is it so impossible to put together

  • a decent run-through?

  • You people have had

  • hours and hours to prepare.

  • It's just so confusing to me.”

  • As a boss, she creates an environment where everyone lives

  • in a constant state of terror.

  • But on another level, Miranda's exacting standards

  • have a very positive effect.

  • We can see the beneficial results of Miranda's mentorship

  • in the transformation of her assistant, the movie's protagonist, Andy.

  • Let's take a minute to look at who Andy is when the movie begins.

  • She's woefully unprepared for her job interview,

  • Who's Miranda?”

  • Oh, my God.

  • I will pretend you did not just ask me that.”

  • So you don't read Runway?”

  • Uh, no.”

  • she has no real experience outside of her college newspaper,

  • nor can she find work anywhere else,

  • Basically, it's this or Auto Universe.”

  • and she has a condescending, “holier-than-thouattitude about fashion.

  • Because this place, where so many people

  • would die to work, you only deign to work.”

  • We know this young woman is smart and passionate.

  • She's willing to give up

  • what would be a more secure career path

  • in order to pursue her dream of writing.

  • “I'm just trying to understand why someone who got accepted

  • to Stanford Law turns it down to be a journalist.”

  • But she hasn't really accomplished anything yet when she arrives at Runway.

  • What she learns from Miranda, is excellence.

  • Call my husband and confirm dinner.”

  • At Pastis?

  • Done.”

  • And I'll need a change of clothes.”

  • Well, I've already messengered your outfit over to the shoot.”

  • Andy starts off not understanding the importance of details.

  • The amount of time and energy that these people spend

  • on these insignificant, minute details, and for what?”

  • This lesson is epitomized in the scene at the run-through,

  • where she doesn't see any difference between two belts.

  • Both those belts look exactly the same to me.”

  • To Miranda, there is a glaring difference.

  • And to underline her point that details are everything,

  • she picks apart Andy's outfit

  • What you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue.

  • It's not turquoise.

  • It's not lapis.

  • It's actually cerulean.”

  • proving to this young woman how an eye for detail is key

  • to unlocking a big-picture understanding of the world.

  • That blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs.

  • And it's sort of comical how you think that you've 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.”

  • The other key skill Miranda teaches Andy is resourcefulness.

  • We have all the published Harry Potter books.

  • The twins want to know what happens next.”

  • You want the unpublished manuscript?”

  • When you have someone standing over you demanding the impossible,

  • you're forced to find a way to make it happen.

  • “I know it's impossible to get but, well, I was wondering if you

  • could make the impossible possible.

  • If that's at all possible.”

  • Andy surprises herself with what she can accomplish

  • under intense pressure.

  • It's Ambassador Franklin, and that's the woman

  • that he left his wife for, Rebecca.”

  • What we keep hearing throughout the movie

  • is that working for Miranda will open any career door.

  • You work a year for her, and you can get a job at any magazine you want.”

  • At first we might think this is because of Runway's prestige,

  • but we come to realize that it's even more so about the qualities

  • that working for Miranda instills in you: resilience, a tireless work ethic,

  • and the commitment to go above and beyond.

  • Oh, no, I made two copies and had them covered, reset and bound

  • so that they wouldn't look like manuscripts.

  • This is an extra copy to have on file.

  • You know, just in case.”

  • By the end, Andy emerges as a capable professional

  • ready to go after her dream of being a journalist

  • something she wasn't equipped for at the beginning.

  • Lauren Weisberger, who wrote the book that The Devil Wears Prada

  • is based on after her stint as an assistant at Vogue,

  • has said that in spite of her struggles there, it was

  • one of the most valuable times of [her] career

  • because she got to learn from high-powered people

  • at the top of their game.

  • In addition to these valuable skills imparted by Miranda,

  • there's one key thing that Andy and Miranda have in common

  • from the beginning: self-respect.

  • When Andy starts at Runway, Miranda's senior assistant is Emily.

  • “I hope you know that this is a very difficult job

  • for which you are totally wrong.

  • And if you mess up,

  • my head is on the chopping block.”

  • Emily seems far more suited for this job, as she is fully committed to the work,

  • has a passion for fashion and worships the ground Miranda walks on.

  • She's the editor in chief of Runway, not to mention a legend.”

  • But what she lacks is Andy's sense of self.

  • Emily would never dare to talk back to Miranda

  • or assert herself in a meaningful way

  • You may never ask Miranda anything.”

  • which is what Andy does.

  • Despite her poor performance at the job interview,

  • Andy refuses to be dismissed.

  • “I'm smart, I learn fast, and I will work very hard.”

  • And her faith in herself prompts Miranda to give her a second look.

  • The reason Andy's self-assurance sparks Miranda's interest

  • is that it reminds her of herself.

  • There you are, Emily.

  • How many times do I have to scream your name?”

  • “A-actually, it's Andy.”

  • It's a key part of her perfectionist identity.

  • You, with that impressive resume and the big speech

  • about your so-called work ethic, I, um, I thought you would be different.”

  • Through Miranda, the movie highlights the double standards

  • that working women face in their pursuit of perfection.

  • In the book, Weisberger based the Miranda character on her old boss,

  • Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour.

  • But for her performance in the film, Streep went in a different direction

  • by channeling men she knew in Hollywood, starting with Clint Eastwood.

  • The fact that you don't raise your voice makes you much more scary.”

  • “I got that from Clint Eastwood.”

  • Ohh

  • He never raises his voice on the set,

  • and there's no one more sort of intimidating.”

  • Streep explained that Eastwood's quiet tone of voice requires everyone

  • tolean in to listen,” thereby making him

  • the most powerful person in the room.”

  • [Whispers] “Have you gotten my note?”

  • Meanwhile she's said that Mike Nichols, who directed her in movies

  • like Silkwood and Heartburn, inspired Miranda's

  • biting wit and her ability to be both mean AND funny.

  • They're showing a lot of florals right now, so I was thinking I could—”

  • Florals?

  • For spring?

  • Groundbreaking.”

  • Many women of Miranda's generation had to develop a hard shell

  • to survive in a male-dominated workplace.

  • The conversation of a raise is not inappropriate at this moment,

  • but do not be timid.

  • You presented like a man, now act like one.”

  • And they often had no choice but to emulate men in order to be accepted.

  • Do you think I act like a man?”

  • “I guess you have to a little.”

  • Yet, even though Miranda's personality is based on men, the premise of this movie

  • would never work if the character actually WERE a man

  • because there's nothing novel or surprising about a powerful man

  • being demanding and cut-throat as he chases success.

  • Okay, she's tough, but if Miranda were a MAN,

  • no one would notice anything about her, except how great she is at her job.”

  • In her world, Miranda is WELL-AWARE of how she's perceived.

  • Just imagine what they're gonna write about me.

  • The Dragon Lady, career-obsessed.”

  • She knows people will judge her harshly for being an exceptionally powerful woman,

  • regardless of what she does.

  • She's a notorious sadist.”

  • Do you want me to say, 'Poor you.

  • Miranda's picking on you.'”

  • She's just doing her job.”

  • Miranda's trademark look was inspired by model Carmen Dell'Orefice

  • and French lawyer Christine Lagarde.

  • But she also bears a striking resemblance

  • to another iconic working woman

  • Cruella de Vil.

  • Cruella and Miranda are both self-assured, career-oriented fashionistas.