Monday, November 30, 2009

A Force of Nature

Diana Vreeland
Editor in Chief Harpers Bazaar 1937-1962
Editor in Chief Vogue 1963-1972

“Give them what they never knew they wanted”.

“You gotta have style. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it you’re nobody. I’m not talking about a lot of clothes.”
“I loathe narcissism, but I approve of Vanity.”

We’ve all seen Anna Wintour with her steely coolness on The September Issue. But does she impart words of wisdom or the strength that her predecessor Diana Vreeland did onto the fashion world so boldly and unapologetically? Exactly what you love about Diana. She was confident, cool and and a true style icon. Her eccentricities were what earned her a reputation above the rest. Perfect manicures and lacquered hair and a love for rooms that were as red as well…hell.

“All my life I’ve pursued the perfect red. I can never get painters to mix it for me. It’s exactly as if I’d said, “I want Rococo with a spot of Gothic in it and a bit of Buddhist temple”…About the best red is to copy the color of a child’s cap in ANY Renaissance portrait.”

She knew what she wanted and how. And she knew what you should do as well. She championed Lauren Bacall, Edie Sedgwick and even Jackie O wrote her stating, “You are and will always be my fashion mentor”. Diane Von Furstenberg received her big break when Vreeland saw her potential as a designer. Avedon worked by her side for 40 years, as he says “to my enormous benefit”. Her influence over the decades will always be a huge part of fashion history. Diana may not have been physically beautiful, but she knew she was fabulous.

A few of her signature “Why don’t you” Suggestions:

Why don’t you… have an elk-hide trunk for the back of your car? Hermès of Paris will make this.

Why don't you... Rinse your blond child's hair in dead champagne to keep its gold, as they do in France?

Why don’t you… have your cigarettes stamped with a personal insignia?

Sarah Jessica Parker channeling Diana Vreeland

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