Category Archives: Diana Vreeland

Dead At the Movies: Diana Vreeland

This fall there are plenty of docs and biopics to see if you want to learn more about famous, beloved, dead people. This week I’ll highlight five, kicking off with my personal fave, Diana Vreeland.

A sketch of Diana Vreeland, fashion icon and bon vivant.

The documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is about the iconic editor-in-chief of Vogue who was actually so much more. Made by a filmmaker who married one of Vreeland’s grandsons, the film is billed as an “intimate portrait” and celebration of her life and legacy.

Official Synopsis: During Diana Vreeland’s fifty year reign as the “Empress of Fashion,” she launched Twiggy, advised Jackie Onassis, and established countless trends that have withstood the test of time. She was the fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar where she worked for twenty-five years before becoming editor-in-chief ofVogue, followed by a remarkable stint at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, where she helped popularize its historical collections.

Awesome Stuff: She worked hard and established herself in an era when it was more common for a woman not to work and not to be able to rise to such a position of power.

She started the trend of wearing bright red nail polish, which I believe she called “laquer”

She said many cool things, one of which I have posted over my desk: “I’m looking for the suggestion of a thing I’ve never seen before.”

In photos, her clothing and jewelry look as fresh as they did 50 years ago. She had a living room that was all red. She was no great beauty and it didn’t matter – as it shouldn’t for any of us – what mattered was her style and her eye.

She had a gift for giving the people what they didn’t even know they wanted – before the rest of the world had even imagined it, Vreeland was capturing it and putting it in her magazines. For many years, she was the zeitgeist.

If you want to read more about D.V., here’s a post I wrote about her in 2011.

Who should go: Anyone who loves history, fashion and who welcomes an opportunity to learn more about an influential woman in American history. If you don’t think clothes matter, or that style matters, maybe this will open up some doors that have been closed for you. As we all know, the eye takes in the true story – what message are you sending out?

To see photos of Vreeland, go to