We all know Carine Roitlfed, Anna Wintour, or Emmanuelle Alt, but do we know who is Diana Vreeland? Not really, at least us, born in the nineties right?
Well, she used to be a famous fashion journalist from 1937 to 1962 for Haper’s Bazaar. From 1963 to 1971, she became the editor in chief of american Vogue.
From her point of view, a magazine needed to give a point of view to the public. Tha’ts what she did during these years at Vogue. She had a particular vision of fashion, a dreamy one. « You have to offer to people what they don’t want yet, not what they want», was one of her goal, when it came to editorials. They were the best way of giving dream and fantasy to readers. It was of course a way to stay in theirs mind. Vogue wasn’t just a media, or a magazine it was closer to a piece of art. Everything had to be perfect in order to be accepted by mrs Vreeland and be published. Her quirkiness was present in each pages of the magazine as in her personal style. It was a glorious period for photographers, models, designers she worked with: Edie Sedgwick, Missoni, Diane Von Furstenberg had theirs first parutions in Usa thanks to her.
Born in France, she had a particular attachment to french fashion industry and designers such as Yves Saint Laurent or Coco Chanel.
She never studied journalism or design, her way of seing the world was transmitted to public by Vogue, she paid attention to give a vision of fashion. Life was artifice, she created artifice throught Vogue pages, from Usa to Japan, the editorials could cost millions. She was trying to communicate dream and luxury using a non ex- pensive media.
When she was fired, in 1963 from Vogue, due the excess of her spending, she arrived at METS (Metropolitan Museum of Art)and Costume Institute as a special consultant.
The museum was empty at that time, she decided to create exhibitons around fashion collections. Balenciaga exhibition was the first one. Yves Saint laurent was the first still alive designer to have an exhibtion at METS in 1983.Before her arriving there in 1973, the field of costume was rare in museums. Vreeland gives to MET sex appeal by creating alive exhibitions; her launching parties were like studio 54 parties at that time;The fact that she worked before for a magazine could be clearly seen, she was giving life to clothes by her set ups. Nowadays, we can go to museums around the world to see fashion designers exhibitions, some designers even become patron for artists exhibitions. The last ones are for sure the Miss Dior or Azzedine Alaia exhibitions at Palais Galliera and Grand Palais in Paris. One coming in march 2014 will be the Dries van Noten one at Arts Décoratifs museum of Paris. The retrospective of Isa Genzken at MOMA in New York, made possible by CELINE, is visible until the 10th of March 2014.
Thank to «the ugly monster» as she used to be called my her mother, we can now dream by watching couture garments beyond the pages of our favourite magazines!
* «the eye has to travel» is name of a documentary made by the director Lisa Immordino Vreeland, who is her grandson wife.