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4 posts tagged "Lisa Immordino Vreeland"

Did You Get The Memo? Diana Vreeland In Her Own Words

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Memos: The Vogue Years

“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” »

The Empress Strikes Back

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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

Photo: Courtesy of Harper Collins

Diana Vreeland Lights Up Paris Once More

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There are few people who could warrant a breakfast of Champagne and caviar, but Diana Vreeland is one of them. Yesterday, in collaboration with Barneys, Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s (pictured, center) film about her legendary grandmother-in-law, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, made its Paris debut. And given the editor’s relationship with the city (she was born here, after all), it was a significant screening, with the likes of Grace Coddington, L’Wren Scott, Michele Lamy, Olivier Rousteing (pictured, right), and Patrick Demarchelier all turning out to Paris’ Pagoda Theater for the event. “Mrs. Vreeland was such a dramatic personage that if anybody was cinematic, it’s her,” said Valerie Steele, who was seeing the film for the first time. “She totally worshiped Paris and the whole world of Paris fashion. I think she would be delighted to be here. And for all we know, maybe she is.”

Mrs. Vreeland’s presence was felt. “I remember when she was the editor of Vogue in the sixties, she moved the entire offices to adjoining suites at Le Crillon,” Vreeland’s grandson Alex recalled. “They took out all the beds and it looked like something from a James Bond movie because you’d open the door and see all these women running around or typing letters.” After the film had ended, viewers were given red gift boxes cleverly filled with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a bottle of scotch. The editor notoriously enjoyed the unorthodox combination for lunch every day. The box also contained a notecard with one of Vreeland’s most famous quotes: “Fashion must be the most intoxicating release from the banality of the world.” Certainly, her words provided a poignant reminder at the end of a very long, albeit intoxicating, fashion month.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Vreeland’s World

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“No one—no one is like her because Mrs. Vreeland had no ego and unfortunately, there’s too many people today that do,” Lisa Immordino Vreeland told Style.com at Barneys New York last night, where she was celebrating her new tome on the “high priestess of fashion,” Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel.

The author was joined by several visionaries in their own rights, including Grace Mirabella, Calvin Klein, and Simon Doonan. “The first day she came into the Met Costume Institute when I was there, in 1985, she came charging into the room wearing these big grosgrain rosettes and she struck a pose,” Doonan said as he re-enacted the scene. “She was so beautiful; she loved fashion so much and understood how it fit into history.”

Lisa worked hard to capture intimate moments, like the one Doonan recalled, in the 50 years of Vreeland’s glamorous life she chronicles in the book. “I went through 26 years of Bazaar, nine years at Vogue, and all the slides of shows at the Costume Institute,” Vreeland said. “The most challenging was cutting down the images—I could have done a book of 500 pages, at least.”

In the fall, watch as Vreeland’s legacy come to life when the film adaption of the book hits the big screen.

Photo: Joe Schildhorn / BFAnyc.com