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DIANA VREELAND: THE MODERN WOMAN

Books Fashion Selvedge

As a subject Diana Vreeland should be exhausted – books, biographies, articles and documentaries abound in testament to her idiosyncratic approach to fashion, her novel ideas in publishing and her innovations in the art world. And yet the latest addition to the Vreeland genre looks just as inspiring and entertaining as those that precede it. Vreeland's covers and shoots are enduringly fresh and never fail to provide a jolt of surprise making the latest book's title – The Modern Woman – particularly apt. DianaVreelandModernWoman_p168-169 Author Alexander Vreeland is the grandson of Diana Vreeland. He has had a thirty-year career in fashion and created Diana Vreeland Parfums. Among the many points underlines in his essay is the fact that his grandmother championed a number of female photographers including Lillian Bassman, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Toni Frissell, Lisette Model, Genevieve Naylor, Karen Radkai, and Kay Bell Reynal. But overall the focus is on Vreeland’s near three-decade tenure at Harper’s Bazaar and the natural starting point is her first column for the magazine in March of 1936, titled “Why Don’t You . . .?” Alexander explains that in his grandmother shared "fun and outrageous ideas that were accompanied by charming illustrations. These columns were an instant success, expanding people’s minds with lots of goofy and colorful suggestions." Why Don’t You?, she asked... "Waft a big Bouquet about like a fairy wand" "Have an elk-hide trunk for the back of your car? Hermes of Paris will make this." "Have a room done up in every colour green. This will take months, years, to collect, but it will be delightful – a melange of plants, green glass, green porcelains, and furniture covered in sad greens, gay greens, clear, faded, and poison greens." This from a woman who surrounded herself with crimson. You certainly get the sense that Vreeland was never afraid to be contradictory or different – she always remained true to her innovative perspective and perhaps this is the bedrock of her lasting appeal. DianaVreelandModernWoman_p018-019 DianaVreelandModernWoman_cover Diana Vreeland: The Modern Woman, The Bazaar Years 1936 - 1962, Alexander Vreeland With commentary by Bruce Weber, Glenda Bailey, Edward Enninful, Tonne Goodman, Inez van Lamsweerde and Stefano Tonchi Rizzoli New York, ISBN: 978-0-8478-4608-5, £40.00 Release date: October 2015      


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  • Corinna on

    I just found you through the Janet Hill story on Etsy. She monineted you and I just had to come see for myself. I’m so glad I did. I must say that you are my new hero of design blogs. I love pink in the most immense way possible and can’t wait to read more of your blog!xo Kimberlee of Gracefully Girly


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