arts & culture

Film & Fashion | 5 Lessons in the Form of Quotations from Diana Vreeland


Film & Fashion | 5 lessons from Diana Vreeland
from The Eye Has to Travel / via The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Film & Fashion | 5 lessons from Diana Vreeland
Film & Fashion | 5 lessons from Diana Vreeland

Nothing has inspired me so much during this lockdown as the documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2011), the story of legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland. So much so, that it made me look into her and life more. Here's a little background information I found on the editor as printed in the Evening Standard:

"Diana never sought out a job in fashion. She was born in 1903 in Paris. Her mother was an American beauty, her father an English aristocrat, and her early life was a Belle Époque whirl of dandies, émigrés and artists. As a child she was passionate about Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes, learning the art of creating fantasy that would serve her so well in later years. At 20, she married the banker Reed Vreeland, and the couple later moved to London, living extravagantly on the $250,000 Diana had inherited from her grandmother. Diana was no beauty, as her mother repeatedly told her, but she became celebrated for her unique personal style. She was regularly in Paris being fitted by Coco Chanel and set up a lingerie business, kitting out the likes of Wallis Simpson with silk camisoles. When the money ran out, the couple moved to New York and it was there, on a night out at the St Regis Hotel, that Diana was spotted dancing in white lace Chanel by Carmel Snow, the then-editor of Harper’s Bazaar. Carmel offered Diana a job and the rest is fashion history." (read more here)

Mrs. Vreeland is responsible for launching many iconic careers, establishing countless trends that have stood the test of time, and bringing an unprecedented and incontrovertible perspective to the fashion world that has scarcely been seen since. (source)

And here are five life lessons, in the form of quotations, by Diana Vreeland:

"I sincerely believe that energy grows from itself and the more energy you expand the more you create within yourself. I also believe that energy is habit—which can be created quite easily. In other words, use your energy and more energy flows and then it is very hard to stop it—as if one would ever want to!"

“The only real elegance is in the mind; if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it.”

“There’s only one thing in life, and that’s the continual renewal of inspiration.”

"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."

"You know the greatest thing is passion, without it what have you got? I mean if you love someone you can love them as much as you can love them but if it isn't a passion, it isn't burning, it isn't on fire, you haven't lived."


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Dana is a fragile dreamer, they say, arriving in Paris four years ago, for love, and the city has been constantly changing her life since then. Hers is a world of books, (Marguerite Duras, Simone de Beauvoir, Anne Berest), expos, long walks sur les quais de Seine, pink skies, fine wine and peonies.

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