Thursday, August 30, 2012

Getting To Know Diana Vreeland

Fashion icon (among other things) Diana Vreeland is the subject of a new documentary (The Eye Has To Travel), authored by Lisa Immordino Vreeland who is the wife of her her grandson Alexander. In the September issue of Harper's Hazaar, Lisa shares some interesting tidbits about her grandmother-in-law. I've included some of the most interesting.


  • The pillows in her home were infused with perfume via hypodermic needles.
  • Before becoming a fashion editor, Diana had a lingerie shop in London. Legend has it that Wallis Simpson seduced Edward, then Prince of Wales, while wearing one of Diana's nightgowns. "Mom's store brought down the British Empire," her son Frederick once joked. She often had her own nightgowns tailored, with up to three fittings on a single one.
  • She always had her dollar bills and her tissues ironed before putting them in her handbag.
  • She ate the same lunch everyday: a whole-wheat peanut butter-and-marmalade sandwich , washed down with scotch. "Peanut butter is the greatest invention since Christianity," she said.
  • She rarely left the house before noon, and often conducted serious business from her tub.
  • 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.
  • Diana's signature color was red, but she never found the perfect shade, which was, according to her, "the color of a child's cap in any Renaissance portrait."
  • She had her custom-made shoes shined for years before she ever started wearing them. And once they entered her rotation, she had the leather and soles shined everyday.
  • She approved of jeans but only on the right body: "I think blue jeans are the most beautiful things in the world, and they can be as tight as you can wear them, but only if you look well and have long limbs."
  • Paris's Hotel de Crillon reserved her personal bed linens for her frequent visits.
  • She loved surfing though she'd never been on a board.
  • Diana's kabuki-like blush was a signature that not everyone understood. A kindly flight attendant once offered, "here, honey, let me rub in your rouge for you."

Harper's Bazaar magazine

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