Icon: Diana Vreeland

The team at HQ recently had the opportunity to view Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel as part of the Brisbane International Film Festival and absolutely fell in love with her certain brand of joie de vivre.

According to the ‘Empress of Fashion’ the “first thing to do is to arrange to be born in Paris” and everything follows naturally from there. Such as a youth spent in 1920s New York City followed by long stints at both Harper’s BAZAAR as Fashion Editor and Vogue as Editor-in-Chief before revolutionising the MET’s Costume Institute, creating what is now known as the ‘Fashion Oscars’, the MET Gala.

To celebrate the woman who famously said ‘Why Don’t You?’ we’ve pulled together some of her most inspiring (and outrageous) quotes.

“Un-shined shoes are the end of civilisation”

“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 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.”

“I think part of my success as an editor came from never worrying about a fact, a cause, an atmosphere. It was me—projecting to the public. That was my job. I think I always had a perfectly clear view of what was possible for the public. Give ‘em what they never knew they wanted.”

“Style—all who have it share one thing: originality.”

“Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.”

“I think when you’re young you should be a lot with yourself and your sufferings. Then one day you get out where the sun shines and the rain rains and the snow snows and it all comes together.”

“I adore artifice. I always have.”

“I’d like to have been Elizabeth the First. She was wonderful. She surrounded herself with poets and writers, lived at Hampton Court, and drove that little team of spotted ponies with long tails….She’s at the top of my list. I loved the clothes. It took her four hours to dress—we have a lot in common!”

“Where would fashion be without literature?”

“Oh, the ‘Why Don’t You,’ column first appeared in 1936 [in Harper’s Bazaar]. ‘For a coat to put on after skiing, get yourself an Italian driver’s, of red-orange lined in dark green.’ That was one of them. ‘Have a furry elk-kid trunk for the back of your car.’ They were all very tried and true ideas, mind you. ‘Knit yourself a little skullcap. Turn your old ermine coat into a bathrobe… ‘Wash your blond child’s hair in dead champagne, as they do in France.’”

“This story went around about me: Apparently I’d wanted a billiard-table green background for a picture. So the photographer went out and took the picture. I didn’t like it. He went out and took it again and I still didn’t like it. ‘I asked for billiard-table green!’ I’m supposed to have said. ‘But this is a billiard table, Mrs. Vreeland,’ the photographer replied. ‘My dear,’ I apparently said, ‘I meant the idea of billiard-table green.’”

“Power has got to be the most intoxicating thing in the world—and of all forms of power the most intoxicating is fame.”

“Fashion must be the most intoxicating release from the banality of the world.”

Make sure to see The Eye Has To Travel – we’re sure you’ll fall in love with her as much as we did. xx

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About chelsea de luca

A blog documenting the loves, inspirations and musings of one of Australia's most celebrated jewellery designers, chelsea de luca. Not for the faint-hearted.
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