Diana Vreeland

This was a great documentary.  When studying something like the History of Dress, going back hundreds of years to the beginning of fashion is important; but, understanding how much has happened in the last 50 years will explain how we got to where we are much quicker.

Diana Vreeland’s influence seems to have taken the ideal of beauty from the 1950’s blonde, perfect housewife style to celebrating a woman’s faults and making those the most interesting and beautiful part.   Because she describes herself as “not beautiful”, I think she dug deeper and found other aspects of her personality to make beautiful… For example, style,  humor, quirks, dressing with bold prints, self-confidence, etc. Of course, I think she is beautiful.  She is elegant, sophisticated, well-kept, creative, and revolutionary.

She reminds me of my favorite style period, the mid-late 60’s mod and the refinement of the early 70’s, more specifically, how Mrs. Robinson was dressed in 1967’s, The Graduate. Image Image

Look at all those prints! Diana, I am sure, would have approved because she felt,

“I’ve never met a leopard print I didn’t like.”

She was not just a fashion junkie. As the editor of Harper’s Bazaar, she brought in music, culture, and art. The first picture published in the U.S. of Mick Jagger was done by Diana. The photographer, David Bailey, had offered the shot to British Vogue but they didn’t know who he was and didn’t want it.  Diana saw it, didn’t know who he was, but said, “I don’t care who he is, but he looks great and we’ll publish it.”  This was in 1964 when the Rolling Stones were still an unknown band in both the U.S. and England.  Now I wonder how much this publication jump started the bands ultimately huge success…  Image


Another interesting thing she said,

“I certainly didn’t learn anything in school. My education was the world.”

Not belittling school, but I agree with her that you cannot expect that just attending school with give you wisdom.  There is so much more than just a person’s schooling that makes you interesting, open, and clever.  Diana is just so cool.

One thing I’ve noticed in many of these fashion documentaries we’ve been watching, the world renowned protagonist usually had a mother that told her how ugly she was as a child. Diana says about her mother,

“I admire the fact that she was very good looking…She would say, “it’s too bad you have such a beautiful sister and you are so extremely ugly.””

It’s ironic that Diana became such a refined, lovely lady who saw beauty in others. I wonder if the mother saw something in young Diana and tried to squash it. I am glad that it didn’t work out that way.  The joke was on her.


Sarah Massoud