On the final day of the New York Spring collections, director Charlotte Wales and Fashion Editor Jorden Bickham asked Kate Upton, Joan Smalls, Elsa Hosk, and a crew of their catwalking pals to come to work at the Vogue offices. How to wear the new officewear was the immediate challenge. How to navigate a corporate tower while retaining a fierce sense of style was the actual heart of the matter.
For inspiration, Bickham and Wales turned to that 1980 classic “9 to 5,” written and performed by Dolly Parton as the title track to the canonical feminist comedy (costarring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin). We’d found ourselves humming it often this year in the hallways of Vogue. We’d been talking about Dolly Parton a lot—her music, her style, her down-to-earth dazzle that seems so right for these dark days. It’s a time to pull up one’s bootstraps and one’s bosom, or to get real and go big all at once. Sometimes a song just feels right, cathartic even. It was certainly thus for the models just out of Fashion Week (which really can “drive you crazy, if you let it”).
Four days after this video was shot, there was a surprise 9 to 5 reunion during the 2017 Emmy Awards: Dolly, Jane, and Lily reunited onstage. Fonda said, “Back in 1980, in that movie, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.” And, Tomlin added, “In 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, hypocritical, lying, egotistical bigot.” Parton said nothing so pointed but, hell, she wrote the darn song! So change up your style, slip on a big suit, and let your voice be heard for all those dreams he’ll never take away . . .