The Silver Lining of my continued reading constipation (sorry ’bout the image, but it’s the best way to describe my inability to actually READ a book!) is that this is the season of fashion books! Yeaaaaaah!
I was so excited to pick up Diana Vreeland The Eye Has to Travel by Lisa Immordino Vreeland (married to Diana Vreeland’s grandson).
Diana Vreeland (1903-1989) was often referred to as the “High Priestess of Fashion,” Her impact on fashion and style was legendary.
Beginning in 1936, when she became a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, Vreeland established herself as a controversial visionary with an astonishing ability to invent and discover fashion ideas, designers, personalities, and photographers. She was a memorable writer with a vivid personality and a talent for coining aphorisms.
The book is a celebration of her three-pronged career – starting at Harper’s Bazaar, moving to Vogue, and then ending as muse-in-residence at the Metropolitan Costume Institute.
With more than 350 illustrations (thank gawd!), including original magazine spreads and many famous photographs, this intensely visual book shows fashion as it was being invented, and how Vreeland shaped American taste through her superb vision.
Diana Vreeland was not just interested in fashion, she was interested in art, life, society, personal habits, and just about anything that you can think of that had to do with living. One thing that Mrs. Vreeland was not interested in was dusting and washing (which gave me quite a giggle!).
There is a documentary out this fall with the same name as the book. The film expands the book further, talking to protogees such as Anjelica Huston and Veruschka as well as those fashion luminaries who worked with her and loved her.
For Diana Vreeland, fashion was always enjoyably frivolous but never fatuous, and what mattered above all was style. “You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it you’re nobody.”
This philosophy really helped me during chemo. It is one of the reasons that I dressed for chemo (no lululemon’s for me!). Having (a little!) style helped me walk through the doors with strength and (a little!) confidence.
I highly recommend this book as a perfect hostess gift…or gift to yourself! Enjoy!
There’s only one thing in life and that’s the continual renewal of inspiration.
– Diana Vreeland