8 posts tagged "Diana Vreeland"
“Our cover situation is drastic…We are on the verge of a drastic emergency.” So reads the first entry in the latest Diana Vreeland tome, Memos: The Vogue Years. Compiled by Vreeland’s grandson Alexander (the husband of Lisa Immordino Vreeland, who directed The Eye Has to Travel), the book features more than 250 of Vreeland’s infamous notes from her time at Vogue, which she’d dictate over the phone to her secretary while puffing on cigarettes in a wicker chair in the bathroom of her Park Avenue apartment. This, Alexander told us, was her preferred mode of communication. “She didn’t believe in meetings,” he said. His assertion is backed up by Diana’s memo to the Vogue team on page fifty-nine, in which she considers holding a meeting about the “controversial” topic of dress lengths, but resolves, “Usually, when we have meetings, we don’t get ideas and views from people.”
But it wasn’t just her staff whom she’d confront about everything from the importance of pearls and bangles to her annoyance with the mistreatment of her initials in her editor’s letter (above), to the necessity that Vogue‘s spreads “never, ever copy…any kind of coiffure that is reminiscent of the 30s, 40s, 50s,” via her rapier dictations. The book—which is available now from Rizzoli—also includes her correspondences with the likes of Richard (or Dick, as she called him) Avedon, Irving Penn (to whom she complains about lackluster tulips), Cecil Beaton, Cristobal Balenciaga (above), Halston, Veruschka, and beyond. Continue Reading “Did You Get The Memo? Diana Vreeland In Her Own Words” »
From the runway to the street to the closets of sports stars, the color red has found its way onto the current sartorial playlist, especially—and excitingly—across men’s suiting.
“Red has great energy and signifies a decadence other colors can’t,” Barneys New York’s general merchandise manager and executive vice president Tom Kalenderian told Style.com. “Remember Diana Vreeland’s famous red chinoiserie walls—didn’t she once say, ‘I want this place to look like a garden, but a garden in hell?’” After hearing Vreeland’s take on the hue, who wouldn’t want to wrap himself up in Haider Ackermann‘s ruby-toned sleeveless Spring ’14 waistcoat, Roberto Cavalli‘s oxblood shawl-collared stunner, or Thom Browne‘s cherry-red generalissimo uniforms?
Just off the runway, our intrepid Tommy Ton lensed red peaked-lapel blazers from Firenze to Paris. One fellow stood out in particular, pairing his vermilion jacket with a medium-grade chambray shirt-and-tie combo underneath. And finally, at last week’s ESPY Awards, a number of athletes hot-stepped it down the red carpet in matching wares: Chicago Bears’ wide receiver Brandon Marshall in a Hugh Hefner-esque burgundy smoking jacket; San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a simple scarlet sport jacket; and the King himself, the NBA’s LeBron James, in a muted carmine tux whipped up by L.A.-based tailor Waraire Boswell. As Kalenderian keenly noted, “Making a statement is the new normal.”
Last fashion week, we got a healthy dose of the legendary Diana Vreeland with the debut of The Eye Has to Travel, the biopic made by the spitfire editor’s grand-daughter-in-law Lisa Immordino Vreeland. Today, we are reminded of the icon’s unwavering legacy yet again with the release of Amanda Mackenzie Stuart’s new book Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland.
A complementary companion to Vreeland’s own fantastical and often hyperbolic memoir, D.V., Stuart’s biography provides a realistic account of the editor’s life, exploring her difficult childhood, her days at Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, and her time at the Met.
“What really intrigued me about Diana Vreeland was the way she deployed the power of imagination and fairy tale to triumph over the harshness in her life,” says the author, who first stumbled upon D.V. while researching her last book. “At that time, I had only a vague picture of who she was—a terrifyingly hip old lady—raven black hair, snood, Vogue, the Met, Andy Warhol—but I wasn’t quite sure how it all fit together. As I dug deeper, I began to grasp how extraordinary she was and became really fascinated by her.”
What’s not to be fascinated by? From her jet-setting lifestyle to her outrageous photo shoots to guest appearances from Mick and Bianca Jagger, the Kennedys, and every designer under the sun, Vreeland’s life story is decidedly “editorial.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Vreeland book without a helping of the editor’s famed sound bites. “I think fantasists are the only realists in the world” is one of Stuart’s favorites. “If readers understand why [Vreeland] said that by the time they get to the end of the book,” says the author, “I may have succeeded in doing her justice.”
Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland is available now at www.barnesandnoble.com
It might be too late to order that YSL gold-plated ring on Net-a-Porter that your sister really wanted for Christmas, or that leopard-print 3.1 Phillip Lim iPad case you meant to get your mom, but don’t give up hope of finding the perfect gift for your fashion-minded friends and family just yet. Throughout the year, a host of fashion-centric books have been released, from Christian Louboutin’s tome ($150) celebrating the art and history of his sexy stilettos to the more recently released retrospective book from Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Pretty Much Everything ($700). (To preview the book, check out images and an interview with the husband-and-wife photography team on Style.com). I have compiled a list of a few of my favorite good reads and coffee table-worthy books from the year (below). You can pick them up at a bookstore near you (click the links to locate a local retailer) or even easier, buy the Nook Book gift version (select books) on Barnesandnoble.com.
Chanel, Her Life, $58, www.steidlville.com
Christian Louboutin, $150, www.rizzoliusa.com
Deborah Turbeville: The Fashion Pictures, $85, www.rizzoliusa.com
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, $55, www.abramsbooks.com