Diana Vreeland — the Empress of fashion

Diana Vreeland

the Empress of fashion

Diana Vreeland (Dalziel- born July 29, 1903, Paris, France—died August 22, 1989, New York, U.S) is The one and only American Editor and The fashion expert of the mid 20th century.
Her exotic and vibrant personality with her distinctive tastes dazzled the world as the greatest arbiter of 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. I’m not talking about lots of clothes.” – Diana Vreeland

Diana created her own world in which style, originality, and allure were supreme. Diana was 19 years old when she captured the heart of Reed Vreeland – “the most ravishing, devastating killer-diller,” as she put it later. They settled in London and started a life full of romantic trips around Europe in their Bugatti coupé: Paris, Budapest, Vienna, Rome. During these years, she cultivated her love of couture and became friends with all the couturiers in Paris.

During her 26-year tenure at Harper’s Bazaar NYC (1936-’62), Diana Vreeland became renowned for her provocative “Why don’t you?” column that dared readers to open their imagination and live their dreams. She didn’t just clothe women; she presented them with aspirations, artful ideas, and the possibility of a more glamorous self.

”She was and remains the only genius fashion editor” – Richard Avedon said after her death in 1989

In 1963, one of the dominant personalities and perspicacious observers of the fashion scene, Mrs Vreeland resigned and took over as Vogue editor-in-chief. Soon, the magazine began to reflect her own taste for the novel, the bizarre, and the outrageous. In particular she created the notion of the “Beautiful People,” a subclass of youthful, wealthy, and footloose members of the less-exclusive international set who were supposed to set the tone of fashion, art, and society.

The only thing Diana loved more than fashion was reading, and her favorite book was Moby-Dick. – “My life has been more influenced by books than by any other one thing,” she said.”

Shortly after the death of her husband, Diana was abruptly fired from Vogue in 1971, turning the fashion world upside down.

Diana Vreeland once mused, “I was only 70. What was I supposed to do, retire?”

Later that year she was named Special Consultant to the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (founded in 1937 by Irene Lewisohn). At that time the department could best be described as “sleepy,” but Diana Vreeland’s sense for drama and style completely revitalized the Costume Institute.

One of her greatest shows was “Vanity Fair,” which was drawn entirely from the collections, but she mounted a series of exhibitions that became sources of inspiration for contemporary audiences.

Diana Vreeland’s legacy is, of course, a multiple one but her most precious is that she introduced the public and press to “fashion as high art” — the idea that fashion of an era possesses a cultural and historic gravitas that should be studied and immortalized. Without the precedent Mrs. Vreeland set, shows such as Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the Met and Madame Grès La Coutur À L’œuvre at Musée Bourdelle in Paris, among myriad others, would never have been brought to light.

Diana Vreeland, Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger and friends at Studio 54. Photo by Gene Spatz, 1978.


This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!