Haute Historian: The Empress Of Fashion, Diana Vreeland

Fountain of 30

February 25, 2013 • Haute Historian, Magazine


She loved clothes, and it got her very far in life.

Diana Vreeland was nothing short of a revolutionary. When it came to the world of fashion and style she was all-knowing. Vreeland, who worked as a fashion editor at Harpers Bazaar (1936–1962) and later as Editor-In-Chief of Vogue (1963 until 1971), catapulted the industry into a modern period. “I wasn’t a fashion editor. I was the one and only fashion editor,” Vreeland said in a documentary about her life, The Eye Has To Travel.

The iconic fashion, famous faces and culture that we recognize during specific decades can all be attributed to her. There is no doubting that as people dwelling in the realm of fashion we owe her much gratitude for her contributions to the way we see and interpret fashion today. Not only did she revolutionize fashion, she mixed it with other factions of culture like art, music and society. Imagine 2013 without ever hearing of people like Barbara Streisand, Twiggy, or Mick Jagger (who would Maroon 5 sing about?). Yes, these celebrities had talent and budding careers during Vreeland’s time, but she was the one who inspired them and gave that necessary push in order for them to blossom into the legends that we recognize today.

“All these people invented themselves,” Vreeland is quoted as saying. “Naturally, as the editor I was there to help them along.”

As a staple at The Factory and Studio 54, Vreeland was where the action was at all times. She didn’t limit her view and therefore didn’t set limits on her abilities. She saw in people what they could not see in themselves, and she brought those images to the rest of us.

Vreeland was the first one to publish a photo of Jagger. She introduced us to the bikini, and she developed a legendary partnership with iconic photographer, Richard Avedon. The duo, who worked together for nearly 40 years, were responsible for photographing American royalty, The Kennedy’s shortly before JFK was sworn in. As her sphere of influence expanded, Vreeland was the one to tell us what we needed.

If there is any questioning about her contributions to the industry today, just open up any fashion magazine. She made the world of fashion a magical place. A place that we still visit, enjoy and take in every moment.

1. Diana Vreeland, fashion.telegraph.co.uk
2. Diana Vreeland, huffingtonpost.com
3. Diana Vreeland in Paris in 1971. Photo By Christian Avril, WWD.com
4. Diana Vreeland with a model in the documentary about her life and work, “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel.” (Cristobal Zanartu/ Samuel Goldwyn Films), theepochtimes.com

– Jamie Wilson

Image Layout: Laura Burkjhardt


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