Wild Young Minds: '''The eye has to travel'' through the magic world of Diana Vreeland

Saturday, November 10, 2012

'''The eye has to travel'' through the magic world of Diana Vreeland

'A new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life you’re living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later'. The dress Diana Vreeland, 'The Empress of Fashion' would wear, would definitely be an extravagant and eccentric dress. Because that's exactly how we can describe her personality and her life.

The documentary 'The Eye has to Travel', composed by the wife of Vreelands grandson Lisa Immordino Vreeland, gives us a quick look in the world of fashion. We see the marvellous editorials Diana Vreeland made as editor-in-chief at Vogue, the shoots with celebrities and the costume collections she arranged when she worked for the Metropolitan of Art.

With designers as Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein and Hubert de Givenchy, models as Lauren Hutton and Veruschka, former assistants of Vreeland and her children as commentators we get to know how miss Vreeland was: an authoritarian lady with an exquisite view on fashion. She discovered many models and photographers and made them into icons.

'Diana Vreeland - the eye has to travel' isn't dull, not for a single moment, and that's not just because of the many colourful and outrageous images of the editorials - mostly shot in foreign places - and images of the 'Roaring Twenties' and Sixties, but because of the interviews with Vreeland.

She is extraordinary, everything she says makes you laugh. She has a certain self-deprecating and is hilarious because of the many striking quotes. Diana Vreeland has an opinion about everything and isn't afraid to say it. The way she sits in her flamboyant and completely red room, speaking with the writer of her memoires, with red rouge on her entire face and a rasping voice, you gotta love her.

If there's truth in everything she says, is the question. But that's a part of her. She always wanted to take the reader of Vogue in a world of imagination and let their eyes travel, even if they were just sitting at home. She had a romantic view on life but was very hard working. She called the world fake but that wasn't a problem for her. Why be natural why you can exaggerate? To be natural is a form of laziness, in her opinion. God, how she inspired me by saying that. Don't be like the rest, when you can be yourself, right? Wear what you want. Though Diana Vreeland didn't really look real on the outside, she is one of the most inspiring and honest persons I've ever seen in fashion. So much more fun than the cold Anna Wintour.

‘“The first thing to do, my love, is to arrange to be born in Paris. After that, everything follows quite naturally.” Easy to say of course, but because of the infecting way of talking, we believe Diana immediately. She was born in Paris indeed, as the daughter of a British father and American mother. She loved to dance, that was her entire youth, she met Reed Vreeland when she was young and stayed with him until he died of cancer. She started working at Harper's Bazaar, with a column called 'Why don't you?', where she gave tips about outrageous things to do with your outfits, hair or children - even during war. Later she got a job as editor-in-chief at Vogue, where she was eventually fired because she was too expensive. At that moment, her would fell apart, but she glued it back to pieces when she got a job at Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The only thing that was disappointing to me, was that we didn't got to know a lot about her personal life. We did know she was very insecure about her looks when she was young, that she had a tough relationship with her mother, that she wasn't a warm mother herself either, and that she loved Reed, but we get very rare details about these facts. And this is exactly what made Diana Vreeland the way she was, I think. A hard working, real and inspirational woman.

Even people who have nothing with fashion, will admire Diana Vreeland for her fresh view on fashion, for her hilarious way of talking, for her persistence and for her real personality. Vogue wouldn't be Vogue without Diana Vreeland. She was unconvential and took risks and that are just two of the things that inspired me when seeing this film. 'You don't have to be born beautiful to be wildly attractive'. Because that's exactly what she was.

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