The infamous Devil Wears Prada “cerulean” monologue was almost about a classic ’90s print instead
The Devil Wears Prada is a deeply quotable film (“Why is no one ready?” “Florals? For spring?” “Can you please spell ‘Gabbana?’”), but the most iconic scene is probably when Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly delivers the “it’s not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean,” speech at Anne Hathaway’s Andy. The “cerulean” monologue is perfection, but would you believe it was originally supposed to be about a plaid skirt?
In the scene, Hathaway laughs at the editors as they fuss over what she thinks are two nearly identical blue belts. Streep delivers a cool clapback about the actual shade of the belt, the machinations of the fashion industry, and Hathaway’s adorably futile attempts to escape sartorial influence.
“There was a point when [costume designer Patricia Field] thought it was going to be a plaid skirt," Vulture reported screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna saying at Vulture Festival L.A. on Sunday, November 18th, 2018. "I wrote a whole Vivienne Westwood angle—obviously."
Apparently, there was a lot of back and forth about the article of clothing Streep would criticize until they landed on a blue sweater. But then they had to decide on a shade of blue, and it was Streep who made the final call. “I had also sent Meryl a list of blues: lapis, azure, cerulean. She picked cerulean,” McKenna added.
Interestingly, Streep’s impressive speech about Yves Saint Laurent and Oscar de la Renta using cerulean on the runway was entirely fabricated. “A lot of the fashion stuff I just made up because none of it was going to be real; it just sounded real,” McKenna added.
For your enjoyment, here is Streep’s iconic monologue in full:
"This stuff’? Oh, okay. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh, I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But 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. You’re also blindly unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic 'casual corner' where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so 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 the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of “stuff.
Can you imagine a world where Meryl Streep didn’t utter the phrase “It’s actually cerulean?” We can’t either.