Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

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“Never fear being vulgar, just boring.” Not only is this one of Diana Vreeland’s classic aphorisms, it could be her own epitaph. The Parisian-born, New York-based stylist and editor, who lived from 1903 until 1989, shaped 20th century fashion at Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, and later as a consultant at the Met’s Costume Institute. The fashion icon’s life is examined in this revealing documentary, co-directed by her granddaughter-in-law, Lisa Immordino Vreeland. The two never met, but the younger Vreeland vividly illustrates the self-addressed D.V. through archival material, animation and talks with luminaries, including David Bailey, Veruschka, Richard Avedon, Diane von Fursternberg, Anjelica Huston, Oscar de la Renta, and Ingrid Sischy.
In 1937, Harper’s editor Carmel Snow discovered Vreeland and asked her to write the column “Why Don’t You?” (for example: “wear violet velvet mittens with everything?”), which ran for 25 years. In turn, Vreeland discovered actress Lauren Bacall and model/actress Edie Sedgwick. She championed animal prints, Balenciaga’s “delicious” clothes and the importance of “pizzazz.” Her uncanny ability to gauge the moment was matched only by her unfailing irreverence. Perpetually wearing a tusk necklace and accented by primary red, Vreeland embodied the innate elegance that she ultimately believed had little to do with clothes.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is an intimate portrait and a vibrant celebration of one of the most influential women of the twentieth century, an enduring icon who has had a major influence on the course of fashion, beauty, publishing and culture.