Diana Vreeland worked as the editor of Vogue from 1962-1971: the best years to be working in creative industries, and definitely the best to be working as the editor-in-chief of the world's largest fashion magazine. She experienced the youthquake of the '60s in its entirety; photographing Twiggy, Edie Sedgwick, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to name a handful. Diana herself admits that "I don't believe anyone has ever been in a better place at a better time than when I was editor at Vogue." Too right.
|Edie Sedgwick's Vogue shoot will always be one of my favourites|
However, it is not only the wonderful people whom Diana worked with at Vogue that make her an aspirational figure. Her early life reads like a nostalgic fairytale. She was born in Paris in 1903 ("The first thing to do, my love, is arrange to be born in Paris"). She then spent her youth in 1920s New York. She loved dancing and everything she did at that time was about dancing; in cute glittery drop-waist dresses, I'm sure. However, after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Diana moved to London (that's three fashion capitals ticked off.) Diana insists that "the best thing about London is Paris" and it certainly is if you get fitted by Coco Chanel in her private attelier, as Diana did.
|I love the slightly avante garde structure and material of these clothes.|
Diana was revolutionary in that she was the first fashion editor to take the focus of the magazine away from society and husbands and cooking for said husbands. No one really cared about such things! They wanted fashion and youth and popular culture, so that is what Diana gave them. Of course, there was an explosion of ideas for such features around this time and Diana loved the attitude of the '60s because it reminded her of the '20s, where everything was new and there was a feel of youth revolution in the air.
|Paisley silk is gorgeous.|
Diana insisted that any flaws or quirks in the models' appearances must be exaggerated. Does the model have an incredibly long neck, or an unusually large nose? If yes, then those features must become the centre of the photograph and consequently, something often seen as ugly, becomes their definitive feature in the fashion world. This philosophy is still alive today (see Lindsey Wixson's lips and Georgia May Jagger's tooth gap.)
|Such a cute dress.|
|I love this photograph of David Bailey and Penelope Tree so much! It remind me of "Just Kids." Though both Bailey and Tree loved it, Diana didn't, and scrapped all these photos from being featured in the magazine.|
Quotes about Diana:
"For her, the most important thing was that it wasn't boring."
"Don't tell a story, even if it's true, if it's boring. Invent something."
"She made it okay for women to be ambitious, for women to be outlandish and extraordinary and for women to garner attention."
"She liked the wild stuff." (referencing to drugs, homosexuality, pornography and plastic surgery.)
|I love freckles so much and I wish that I had more :'-( Apparently Topshop are introducing a freckle pencil though??|
"A new dress doesn't get you anywhere; it's the life you're living in the dress."
"I think we only live through our dreams and our imagination. That's the only reality we ever really know"
"I certainly didn't learn anything at school. My education was the world."
"No one had a better sense of luxury than Coco Chanel."
"Style is everything. It helps you get up in the morning. It helps you get down the stairs. Without it, you're nobody."
"I shall die young. Maybe 70, maybe 80, maybe 90, but I shall be very young."
|This photo of Brigitte is so pretty.|
|Hanging out with Andy Warhol.|
Diana continues to maintain cultural significance, even 25 years after her death. She has been portrayed in a number of films, though, most recently in Infamous (2006) and Factory Girl (2006.) A film-length documentary about Diana's life was released in 2012. It's called "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel." It is where I got most of the information for this post and I thoroughly recommend watching it. Diana's exuberance and revolutionart ideas have cemented her place in fashion history.