When you have interviewed and written about fashion for any great length of time, you fantasize about what it might be like to interview the quintessential fashion icon. So, to satisfy that fantasy, here is what I think might have happened if I got to interview one of the greats of fashion for all time... Diana Vreeland. Here is what might have transpired in 10 questions.
This should also serve as a reminder to those of us who remember her, or possibly just those who know of her, that there will probably never be anyone who masterfully dominated international fashion to the same degree as she did; her reasons were not for financial or for personal gain. She was perhaps the most explosively influential person to ever inhabit the world of fashion as she quite literally made fashion her bitch. For those of us who lived during her reign, or at least part of it, we will forever be held in her sway and thrall. For those were less unfortunate to have not experienced her, you are lesser than the rest but you have the opportunity to read and learn from fashion’s tsarine as so much of what she accomplished is still readily available via the internet and books. Hopefully, somewhere, there is a budding Mrs. Vreeland in coming generations who will exert the same seismic power that she once wielded.
What is your current state of mind?
I am finally able to chat up these lovely men who have come to see me... Yves, Lee, Blass and even darling Nan, who no longer needs that dreadful awful oxygen wheelie next to her even when she smoked, and then there is Brooke and Dick and even chere Lou Lou... Actually I am thrilled, even that dreadful worm of a man Jerry Zipkin is here and of course there is Cristobal, the master of them all!
Diana Vreeland (born September 29, 1903, Paris, France and died August 22, 1989, Upper East Side, New York City) was a noted columnist and editor in the field of fashion. She worked for the fashion magazines Harper's Bazaar and Vogue and as a special consultant at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. |
JF: What do you think of the present state of fashion?
DV:How indescribably ghastly it is now that bu$iness has become more important than “la mode” tsk tsk tsk and that in charge “Louise Brooks” sunglassed person who is like a walking cash register trying to find jobs for bad designers and constantly beating the money drum... so, so déclassé? D’accord? Qu’est ce que c’est “relevant?” Someone explain this Vetements phenomenon that suddenly no design is good design and ugly is the new beautiful. Then there is this notion of designers who are not designers and barely more than “masseurs” who use all the old to think they create new and it turns out to be bad interpretations in the end!
JF: What do you think of the celebrity/model idea?
DV: Yes of course we always had celebrities and Dick (Aberdeen) always did such a superb job with them but NOW you have such low class women to choose from and those simply detestable reality people. Those women are a mop and pail away from being maids and bathroom matrons... so low class, so common. There are so few real natural beauties... now it is injectable here and fix that and rebuild these and I say ‘kiss my ass” where are the beauties... the originals?
JF: What’s your advice to new talent?
DV: Be original... be daring... be fabulous... why not find what no one else has done and do it?
JF: What was your crowning achievement?
DV: I was fabulous!! I made them notice me, listen to me, breathlessly anticipate my moods and whims. I dared to be different I dared never to be boring; I discovered and nurtured some of the greatest talents in fashion. I even painted the soles of my shoes red before Monsieur Louboutin ever had an inkling of doing it... ca va!
JF: What would you have changed about your career path?
DV: I would have been even more outrageous, I would have made them all become my loyal acolytes... maybe I might have stayed a bit longer at Bazaar and Vogue and I really needed more time at the Met...
JF: Who is your favorite designer?
DV: What is there to say, most of my very favorites are here with me... they were the game changers, the explorers, the geniuses... they are missed... they left a void and seemingly there is no one to fill the void... insulting is this ridiculous Vetements trash and all who follow that.. Why, it’s just fashion blasphemy!
Diana Vreeland (born September 29, 1903, Paris, France and died August 22, 1989, Upper East Side, New York City) was a noted columnist and editor in the field of fashion. She worked for the fashion magazines Harper's Bazaar and Vogue and as a special consultant at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. | Diana Vreeland, Fashion, France, Columnist, Harpers Bazaar, Vogue, Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Icon, Style, Cigarette, Smoking, Hat,
JF: With whom would you like to split a bottle of champagne? Name one or more
DV: I have so many pals here now... all I have to do is find the reincarnation of my red Billy Baldwin “garden in hell” and then I will be set to rock n roll... .oops I must meet Daphne Guinness... great spirit... great style... never ever boring .. Alas I have a long wait before we share a scotch.
JF: Who do you think “borrowed” from your work most successfully?
DV: Everyone thought I was too out there, too outré. I am here to tell you that what came after me is B O R I N G. This Anna and Glenda and Stefano... hah! Much ado about nothing... where’s the fabulous, where are the Polly Mellens... maybe this Carine frau , but she is too much in front of the camera and not enough behind and too consistent.
JF: How would you like to come back in a second life?
DV: I want to come back as the next “IT” girl at Conde Nast or a freelance stylist... I want to tell them all how stupid they are and how much better the magazines and photographs would be if there was someone with imagination and true talent... well really... my imagination and my spirit and my “WHY NOT?” I want to shake them from their roots... their long boring accountant’s roots... toadies, all of them.