Rebecca Tyrrel: Anna Wintour's loathing of calories is as well-documented as her rudeness

 

Share

Who knew that Anna Wintour, hotly tipped as the next US ambassador to the Court of St James, or possibly Paris, never says "Goodbye" at the end of a phone call? In The Devil Wears Prada, the Wintour character played by Meryl Streep concluded chats with a clipped and faintly brusque, "That's all".

The actual editor of American Vogue, British born and bred but now a US citizen, simply hangs up when she feels the discussion is over. "There's no point, is there, really?" she once explained. "We've finished talking."

This natural warmth was perhaps best summed up by Barbara Amiel, who said: "Anna happens to be a friend of mine, a fact which is of absolutely no help in coping with the cold panic that grips me whenever we meet."

If Obama does reward the leading fundraiser with a glittering embassy after next month's inauguration, Wintour is not expected to spoil guests to the Regent's Park or Parisian residence with the Ferrero Rocher. Not unless they produce a bespoke chocolate free of sugar, cocoa butter and, oh yes, chocolate. Her loathing of calories (she advised Oprah to lose weight before appearing on the cover of Vogue) is as well-documented as the glacial rudeness.

There are other apparent drawbacks to her taking a job whose primary function is to use suave chit-chat to put people at their ease at nightly social events. She never stays at a party longer than 20 minutes (her bedtime is a rigid 10.15pm), doesn't do small talk, and delights in putting everyone at their unease.

Yet she does have impressive form in the field of smoothing troublesome international relations. Her most celebrated edition carried a famously flattering profile of the al-Assads, Syria's first family, in which Asma opened the door herself, "hair in a ponytail, the word 'happiness' spelt out across the back of her T-shirt"; and the dictator revealed that he chose ophthalmology for his medical speciality because "there is very little blood". (Wintour later changed her tune somewhat, issuing a statement "deploring the actions of the Assad regime".)

What a novel experience for president Obama it will be if and when he does make that call: "Forgive me, Anna, they want me in the Situation Room – something to do with Syria and chemical weapons. But let me just say how thrilled I am that you've accepted the… Anna? Are you there? Hello? Madam Ambassador? What is wrong with this phone? Anna? ANNA?"

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

 

Naturism criminalised: Why not being able to bare all is a bummer

Simon Usborne
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on