Dear Pennies & Pens,
Over two years ago, I created de la Pen and one of my first posts was on the legendary fashion editor, Mrs. Diana Vreeland (Tuesday’s Stylish Thoughts: Diana Vreeland…Fashion Inspiration). Diana Vreeland is seriously one of my biggest fashion inspirations. Everything about this woman was just epic and iconic all at the same time. During her life, Diana was often referred to as the “Empress of Fashion” and she is responsible for launching the careers of other fashion icons (most of whom are still working in the industry today) such as Twiggy, Veruschka, Diane Von Fursternberg, and Carolina Herrera. She also advised the late first lady, Jackie Onassis.
In essence, when I heard that Diana’s grandson’s wife Lisa Immordino Vreeland was producing and directing a film documentary of her life, I knew I would have to check it out. Last week, I finally got a chance to see the film, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel. The Eye Has To Travel is an intimate portrait and celebration of Diana Vreeland who is one of the most influential women of the 20th century. Diana is an icon whose keen eye changed the face of fashion, beauty, art, publishing, as well as culture.
Diana was born in Paris in 1903, and as a child she witnessed irreplaceable events and cultural wonders like the Ballet Russes, modernism, Art Noveau, and haute couture. Sadly, Diana had a distant relationship with her mother and Diana stated in interviews and her autobiography that she was her mother’s “ugly little monster”. Regardless of Diana’s unique looks she would go onto become a major force in fashion and culture.
At the age of 19, Diana met her future husband Reed Vreeland whom she called, “the most ravishing, devastating, killer-diller.” Once married, the couple traveled throughout Europe and during this time, Diana developed a friendship with all the couturiers in Paris, most notably Coco Chanel. In fact, once Diana returned to New York in the 1930s, she was wearing Chanel at a party when she met Harper’s Bazaar Editor-In-Chief, Carmel Snow who offered her a job at the magazine on the spot. Diana reluctantly accepted the job and ended up staying at Harper’s Bazaar for 25 years collaborating with iconic photographers like Richard Avedon who called her his “crazy aunt”.
After leaving Harper’s Bazaar to become Editor-In-Chief of Vogue, Diana continued to push for innovation and creativity. Diana’s reign at Vogue is often referred to as the “golden years” of the magazine being that it chronicled historic 60s cultural events like youthquake and the Civil Rights Movement. Diana had an abrupt departure from Vogue after being fired but she soon recovered becoming the first Director of the Met’s Costume Institute. In fact, it was Diana Vreeland who created the Met Gala and promptly made it one of the world’s largest and most glamorous events.
The Eye Has To Travel covers the life of Diana Vreeland in a unique and interesting way. The film features interviews with Diana herself as well as an actress playing Diana who narrates the documentary. Other highlights are current industry titans sharing how Diana influenced them in their careers. Designers like Oscar de la Renta, Diane Von Fursternberg, and Anna Sui reflect on the life of Diana Vreeland. There’s also interviews with both of Diana’s sons that give insight on what type of mother she was, etc.
I truly enjoyed this film and I highly recommend that you check it out. Diana was truly an icon and her influence is still affecting the industry. That being said, if you’re looking for some inspiration or if you’d like to know more about the history of fashion, please go see the film. You can find showtimes and more on the film’s website here: DianaVreeland-film.com. Also, check out www.dianavreeland.com to learn more about Diana’s life and work.
And there it is. de la Pen…All Pen Everything.