Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Diana Vreeland "DV"

Many books about fashion history are boring.
They are dead statements of facts like old encyclopedias.  Do not you think so?

To learn about 20th century's fashion history in the least boring way is to read Diana Vreeland's autobiography. 

What an inspiring life!

It is an autobiography above all. However her life was connected so closely to style and beauty that you also learn a lot about fashion and style. She starts with Diyagilev, she speaks a little bit about Queen Mary and the royal family, few paragraphs about Coco Chanel, few pages on Japan, one chapter about colors and a lot about France and US. She met a lot of interesting people and she makes you look at them from a different angle. 

She shares her passion for beauty and teaches  you not to be afraid of being different.

Here are few quotes from the book.

"Conde Nast was a very extraordinary man, of such a standard. He had a vision. He decided to raise the commercial standards of the American woman. Why, he decided, shouldn't they have the best-looking clothes? He gave them Vogue. The best looking houses? House & Garden. And don't forget Vanity Fair! Why, Conde decided shouldn't American women know about writers, entertainers, painters - that Picasso was painting extraordinary paintings, that a man named Proust was writing an extraordinary book? Why shouldn't they know... about Josephine Baker?"

 or

"Most people haven't got a point of view; they need to have it given to them - and what's more, they expect it from you. I had this most curious thing happen - it must have been about 1966 or'67. I published this big fashion slogan: THIS IS THE YEAR OF DO-IT-YOURSELF.
Well, after that slogan appeared, every store in the country telephoned to say, "Look, you have to tell people. No one wants to do it themselves - they want direction and to follow a leader!" They were quite right. There was only one issue published with my slogan, but it certainly threw the country. After that, it was back to the more usual slogans: BEWARE OF PEARL GRAY WITH PINK -that sort of thing. An then the next month: PUT APRICOT WITH ORANGE. There is not much serious planning in this sort of thing. It's rather like a woman's mind... you sort of feel it at the time. Carry on. Bash on. Keep' em thinking. Keep' em asking."

Diana Vreeland about colors.

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