Readers of this blog surely know about Diana Vreeland who was the legendary fashion editor at Harper's Bazaar, then the editor-in-chief at Vogue during the Sixties, and when she was fired from Vogue, created at the Metropolitan Museum of Art the Costume Institute as we know it today with her blockbuster exhibits.
What stands out in the documentary is her great drive and work ethic coupled with her imagination and creativity. Growing up, her mother told her she was ugly. In New York City, she lasted at the Brearley School for three months. She was not a great beauty nor was she formerly educated, but she created great beauty and educated herself and thus encouraged her readers and viewers to dream and live more beautiful lives.
She met her handsome husband Reed Vreeland in 1929. Here they are pictured at a cocktail party with the always chic Slim Keith on the left.
Diaghilev, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. Angelica Huston in the movie notes that before Vreeland, women's magazines were focused on "how to fit in with your husband and how to make a pie. But who cares about pies...when you have Russia!"
The editor began her job at the Met when she was 70 ("What was I going to do? Retire?") As a boy visiting New York City from upstate I remember a couple of her Costume Exhibit shows, including the Hollywood one, which were astounding displays of fantasy and beauty. Vreeland was a storyteller, this movie says, and she was presenting her version of the way the world could be. "I believe in the dream," she says. "There is only one really good life and that is the life you know you want and you make it yourself." At the end she states, "I shall die very young. Whether I am 70 or 80 or 90, I shall die very young."
What a great inspiration she is. See this movie if you can. Here is the trailer: