Tag 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 dianavreeland.com.

The Wednesday Outlook: Feb. 23, 2011

winter landscapeThis week I’m in denial. It did not snow 14 inches. It’s practically spring. So what if the back yard gate is snowed shut again, forcing me to walk around the block to get the garbage to the alley? So what if Freja and I have to mount and descend piles of snow on our walks? Pretty soon I’ll be in sandals and dresses, fanning myself and complaining about the heat. Right? Right?


The only consolation is that the birds are making noise in the mornings again, which always means that a change is going to happen even if we can’t immediately see/feel it.

Here’s what’s been holding my attention lately.


I’ve found that the best way to pretend everything is OK is to not go outside that often. What’s kept me going as I hide under a blanket is reading. I’m on a “rich lady” memoir jag. I’ve burned through Dead End Gene Pool by Wendy Burden, Why Not Say What Happened by Ivana Lowell (descended from the Guinness family) and The World of Gloria Vanderbilt by Wendy Goodman and, although in a slightly different vein, Diana Vreeland by Eleanor Dwight. I’m fascinated by the wealthy who grow up emotionally and socially impoverished. Setting aside Diana “Fashion Savant” Vreeland, Gloria is by far the most interesting and accomplished, although I do have to question some of her interior design.
Continue reading The Wednesday Outlook: Feb. 23, 2011

Why Don’t You?

This dry winter air must be wreaking havoc on your hands! Why don’t you make some scotch eggs  and let your epidermis soak up Mother Nature’s natural moisturizer – pork fat!

scotch egg crop

Mix up the pork sausage by hand, letting your dehydrated fingers pat those patties and then cradle the hard boiled egg in your hand as you wrap it in its fatty meat cloak. Let that lard soak into your skin’s cracks and fissures. Aaaaah!

You could eat the eggs, too, after they bake, but be careful darling, that vintage Mainbocher gown won’t fit anymore if you’re eating Scotch eggs and surfing TMZ all day long. Better to pack them in a basket and give them to the neighbors while you settle in for a lunch of lettuce and a Tab.

The Scotch Egg - You're Soaking In It!
The Scotch Egg - You're Soaking In It!

Why Don’t You?

Darling, I know it’s cold outside and this winter is for the crows. The crows who sit in the trees and “CAW, CAW, CAW!” while you wait for the bus on a bitter morning. But one must remember that weather should not do away with style.

Why don’t you wrap your head in a furry hood, so that all that peaks out is your face, flush from your latest spray-on tan?

Fur hood vogue

The bigger the hood, the better! The more wrapping, the better.

In fact, why don’t you wrap up your entire body, like a chic mummy, in your bed comforter to let people know what you think of this long, nasty winter? Be sure to take the belts off old bathrobes and strap them around your body in a criss-cross, strait-jacket fashion. Note:  Make sure to bring along a friend who can help you navigate the bus steps.


I’m cold as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore! Has anyone seen the #113?

Here’s To You, D.V.

Welcome to 2011!

We now live in the future.

Vreeland blogI spent the last days of 2010 reading D.V. by Diana Vreeland (well, dictated by Diana Vreeland and recorded by George Plimpton and Christopher Hemphill). Diana was a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar and then went on to be Editor in Chief of Vogue. The book portends to be an autobiography but really it is a collection of thoughts on a wide variety of subjects which manages to morph by the end into a very distinct worldview.

It’s not a worldview many of us subscribe to today, which is too bad. In some ways she seems like a silly, rich woman but, the more you read about her, the more you start to catch her wave. Here are some Vreelandisms:

I loathe nostalgia.
I’m big on larders.
Pink is the navy blue of India.
I was simply mad about Queen Mary.
How I miss fringe! Where is fringe today?
Unshined shoes are the end of civilization.
Asparagus should be sexy and almost liquid.
I’m terrible on facts. But I always have an idea. If you have an idea you’re well ahead.
Never fear being vulgar. Just boring.
Continue reading Here’s To You, D.V.