Anna Lee (Анна Щукина) (ana_lee) wrote,
Anna Lee (Анна Щукина)

A Question of Style: a conversation with Diana Vreeland / Rolling Stone, 1977

"Elegance is innate. It has nothing to do with being well dressed. Elegance is refusal."
Diana Vreeland

Продолжение. Первая часть - "Женщина в красном" - здесь.

Diana Vreeland by Graziella Vigo, Vogue 80s


Reminiscence: Diana Vreeland
"Let's suppose you were a total stranger - and a very good friend. That's a good combination. What would you want to know about me? And how would you go about finding it out? To me the books I've read are the gateway. My life has been more influenced by books than by any other one thing."

Diana Vreeland, D.V. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984)

The first house call I made to care for an ailing library, which came first to be something of a sideline, later an occupation, was more of a blind date than a job. Of the doyenne of American fashion, the enfant terrible of magazine editing whose every bon mot seemed to bare repeating, whose reputation inspired emulation by society girls, the veneration of artists, and adoring imitation by drag queens, I hadn't expected great bibliophily.

From the time I got married at eighteen until the time I went to work in 1937, twelve years - I read. And Reed [Vreeland] and I would read things together out loud, which was marvelous. That was the charm of it - when you've heard the word, it means so much more than if you've only seen it.

Her library had surrendered to chaos through constant use and to put your hand to what you wanted - unless you could follow the Zen logic imposed by a pot-headed friend of her grandson - was difficult and ineffectual. Cataracts, which would eventually blind her to the written word, were making disorder too difficult to be practical. Christopher Hemphill, her co-author, was a friend and effected our introduction and my first job as a private librarian.

The apartment was Billy Baldwin's famous interpretation of Mrs. Vreeland's dictate to furnish her flat like "a garden in hell." Scarlet fleurs du mal chintz covers everything in the living room, red wall to wall underfoot: a seascape of shells, Venetian blackamoors, a Sumu wrestler under glass, Warhol's lithograph of Mrs. Vreeland as Napoleon, two Christian Berard portraits of her as a working editor, a Zuloaga scene of Easter Sunday in Saville, and a Dufy watercolor of a Venetian canal.

While she loved Venice she preferred Bahia, thought Salvador more beautiful, and the most charming picture she owned was a primitive portrait of a girl I loved. Where books weren't, bibelots adorned every available surface: Scottish horn snuffboxes, a kennel of Staffordshire dogs from her late husband, porcelain leopards given her by Jean Schlumberger. Nothing priceless in itself but invaluable by association.

In my categorizing and arranging I was drawing a bibliographic portrait of Mrs. Vreeland and falling a little bit in love despite our fifty year difference in age. Her library possessed what Cecil Beaton characterized as her "most strict sense of chic and a poetical quality quite unexpected in the world of tough elegance in which she works." This exacting sensibility distinguished her books as a collection, as opposed to a mere accumulation. Most of the books were by her contemporaries, coincidentally first editions, many gifts respectably inscribed by their authors. Condition didn't interest her. The books were dog-eared, underlined, spines faded, jackets torn and well worn, not just read but reread.

The effete elite from past to present, rows of purple prose, stood their ranks on her shelves: Oscar Wilde, Marcel Proust, Jean Cocteau, Ronald Firbank. Beaton's works were inscribed, "To Reed and Diana..." Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell, the friends of her formative years, dedicate their essays in aesthetics on her title pages. Augustus Johns' books are situated close by his pencil portrait of her...a gift.

As special consultant to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum, Mrs. Vreeland invented a new approach to presenting fashion and the inspiration of her shows dominated the styles of the 1980s more than the influence of any single designer. Here on the shelves of her library, the histories of Hapsburg Vienna, Imperial China, Tsarist Russia, Belle Epoque France, Raj India, Edwardian England, and Grand Illusion Hollywood represent her inquisitions into each era. The Letters of Madame Sevigne, The Memoirs of Duc de Saint-Simone, Walpole's correspondance, the Goncourt brothers journals, The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon -- "I still keep it next to my bed. Meanderings of the mind, very charming. Little vignettes of wisdom and beauty".

Three biographies of Maria of Rumania. A shelf of books on Edward's abdication. Seven biographies of Diagilev, five of Nijinsky, four of Anna Pavlova, half a dozen on Leon Bakst's designs for the Ballets-Russes. Misses Moberly and Jourdain's Adventure, an account of two women of the twentieth century who step through a seam in time into the Trianon gardens of 1789 and there come upon figure after figure unaccountably arisen from that unfamiliar past.

 All offered a clue to the modus operati that Mrs.Vreeland employed in mounting extravaganzas. History, in her mind, might be lived as fantastically as it can be grasped. "I think your imagination is your reality," she'd say, "Only what you imagine is real. You love someone very much, but no one else sees her that way. But what's the reality? Yours."

The dining room is half walled with books - history, literature, and art - running the length of the room from floor to ceiling. Biography, photography and interior design are in the vestibule's biblotheca. In the study are monographs on the great coutures: Poiret, Fortuny, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Dior, Balman, St. Laurant; treatise on fashion and rare books on costume. One of her favorites, reflecting a lifelong passion, is The Book of the Feet: A History of the Fashions of the Egyptians, Hebrews, Persians, Greeks and Romans, and the Prevailing Style Throughout Europe During the Middle Ages Down to the Present Period; also, Hints to the Last Makers, and Remedies for Corns, by J. Sparks Hull, Patent Elastic Boot Maker to Her Majesty the Queen, the Queen Dowager and the Queen of the Belgians. From the Second London Edition, with A History of Boots and Shoes in the United States, Biographical Sketches of Eminent Shoemakers and Crispin Anecdotes.

I spent nearly a week working on arranging the library, during which we became very good friends. After work she'd invite me to dinner and after dinner we'd sit up drinking Smirnoff's neat with a twist and smoking Lucky Strikes. She'd sit in her little red child's seat holding forth on the contemptible lack of quality in life today and the decadence of the modern novel -- "The last novel I enjoyed was that one by Salinger" -- or the sublime as effected by Henry James, George Eliot and Jane Austin, or the criticism she anticipated for the autobiography she and Chris were collaborating on: "Every word of it is real. How could I have made it up? I'm not all that imaginative, except in my mind."

"Find me that bit in Polo's Travels...marvelous," she would drawl it out, "You know the passage..Elephants in all the regalia, walking six abreast through an ermine tent. Have you read that? Read it to me again. Ow, that's turreiffirck," she'd purr.


From the desk of Mrs. Vreeland


The delicious dicta of Diana Vreeland, the legendary editor of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, have been dispensed in a variety of media — memorably in her "Why Don't You...?" column in Bazaar — but none are more fascinating than her memos to her staff.

Filled with quirky directives ("Let's promote grey") and tossed-off thoughts ("Most girls' ears stick out"), the Vreeland memos are often as opaque and fabulous as haiku. Dictated to a secretary, they feel fascinatingly close to email, written in alternately curt and rambling prose, dotted with ellipses, and with the occasional out-of-nowhere remark or flash of inspiration. They're like direct link-ups with the Vreeland mind.

It's equally fun to scan the recipient list and imagine the style arbiters of today as simply Mrs. V's girls then — "Miss Donovan" (the late Carrie Donovan, who also held positions at Bazaar and The New York Times), "Miss Mirabella" (Grace Mirabella, Vreeland's successor and founder of the beloved, now-defunct "smart" fashion mag Mirabella), "Mrs. Mellen" (Polly Mellen, the iconic Vogue sittings editor and Allure fashion director).


SEPTEMBER 11, 1966

We are starting a new year.

Faint, faint, if any, eyebrows.

Beautifully made up corners of the eyes, eyelids and above the eyelids.

Rich looking skin with a golden sheen.

FEBRUARY 10, 1967

For goodness sakes, beware of curls...

It is a great art to do them so that the girls not only look modern — but do not suddenly look very vulgar.

Don't forget, we have just been through a period of hair — where an enormous aristocracy has been projected through clean faces, very made up eyes, and sleek hair — and suddenly a round face like Klerquer's looks perfectly awful... very silly, very affected, and who in the world would want to look like that.

We are not looking for endless variety — we are looking for fashion.

Also, beware of little girl gestures — fingers in the mouth and all that. We are, under no circumstances, showing any little girl effects — nor are we using it in text — or do we want it any photographic effects... as they are terribly, terribly vulgar.

JUNE 5, 1967

I am extremely disappointed that no one has taken the slightest interest in freckles on the models...

I heartily suggest that we get going as soon as possible on this delicious coquetery — and that you experiment well before pictures are taken... as the only time we have tried doing this, the spots turned out to look like black moles instead of pale red freckles..

All these suggestions were in my telexes from Paris — and I was hoping to see them throughout the next few issues... and it is high time we get on to this.

Please discuss with Carol Phillips' department the best stuff to use.

JUNE 18, 1968

Sonny and Chér are going to be here the end of June...

As we couldn't publish the pictures of Chér the last time she was here and her dream is to be in high fashion and she looks beautiful in it, are there not some pictures that could be taken then?

For instance, a spread that could be done by Waldeck or Penati?

The great thing is to wash her face... and if you have any trouble with her tell her that I will talk to her and she simply has to realize that certain makeups, such as a thick opaque one with thick opaque eyelashes (such as she was done before) simply don't photograph... and this is all we can say about it...

There has to be a transparency, a gleam, a lightness and an amused expression or people look dead today and very old...

FEBRUARY 24, 1969

I think that the most completely constructive thing that Vogue can do for its readers is when we show a group of inexpensive clothes for summer — we do a group of really cheap dresses.... for example — JUNE if we can do 10 pages of dresses for under $30.00.
You say it is not possible to dress for under $30.00.......

To put it frankly, everybody wears them — it is just that we don't show it.

Whose market will have these clothes? I am speaking of Banlon houses like Nestroy, etc. I cannot believe that by interesting a certain group of the market — perhaps they are Kezia's houses — please — check — that people would be interested in doing something for us as this special price.

With health, a good figure and brown skin in the summer, people should spend very little money on their clothes.

Could these people investigate at once.... I understand that we are now through with the selection of the extravagants of the market... until we start going into autumn. By through, I mean we are through looking at them though certainly we will put some of the beautiful organzas in, etc....

Nylon, dacron, synthetics, hersey....

I would like to have an answer from each and every one of you as to where these things could be found, and what you are going to do about them....

In the case of Babs and Baron de Gunzburg — they will certainly say "this is not my market". The point is that it is your Fashion Department and you should make suggestions to the girls....

Mrs. Mellon can make suggestions from her shirt collection — the shirts done in cotton this summer.


APRIL 14, 1969
(No subject)

Let's promote grey.

For everything.

At the present moment how much grey have we got?


Из искр, возникавших при столкновении романтика Либермана и железной леди Дианы Вриланд - главного редактора Vogue - родились самые пламенные номера журнала

Она «разрешила» всему американскому обществу носить сандалии на босую ногу с повс
едневной одеждой и провозгласила бикини «самым важным изобретением со времен атомной бомбы».

Оракул по призванию

Диана Диэль (Diana Dalziel) родилась в 1904-м году в Париже. Ее семья не принадлежала к высшему сословию, но имела влиятельных знакомых и завидных родственников (в кузинах у Дианы ходила представительница семейства Ротшильдов — Pauline de Rothschild). Возможно, поэтому девочке решено было дать классическое образование в лучших аристократических традициях: она прекрасно разбиралась как в искусстве, так и в точных науках. В 1914-м году семейство перебралось в Нью-Йорк, где юная Диана всерьез увлеклась хореографией. По ее словам, именно благодаря балету она осознала неразрывную связь искусства и моды.
Брак с банкиром Томасом Ридом Вриландом и последующее материнство нисколько не мешали ей успешно развивать собственный бизнес по изготовлению женского белья (одной из ее клиенток была даже графиня Виндзорская!). А если добавить к этому еще и активную светскую жизнь, то становится понятно — энергии и смелости будущей революционерке от моды не занимать.
Сегодня даже трудно предположить, в каком направлении развивалась бы модная индустрия и скольких выдающихся модельеров, а в то время — лишь подающих надежды молодых дарований, мы бы не досчитались, если бы в 1937-м году Диана Вриланд не возглавила отдел моды журнала Harper’s Bazaar. Первое, что она сделала, нарушив все мыслимые и немыслимые каноны, — это превратила сухие рапорты 30-х годов о сезонных новинках в увлекательное чтиво и руководство к действию! С ее появлением в журнале возникла рубрика Why don’t you… (Почему бы тебе не...), которая мгновенно увеличила продажи. Ее советы с сатирической подоплекой, зачастую абсурдные (как, например: «Почему бы тебе не... искупать своего ребенка в шампанском?» или — «Почему бы тебе не перекроить свое платье в пижаму для сна?»), были направлены на то, чтобы научить читательниц отличать безвкусицу от настоящего шедевра.

Красным по красному

В течение 27 лет на посту редактора моды журнала Harper’s Bazaar Диана Вриланд работала над образом американской женщины. Привилегию аристократов — моду, она вывела в массы, одновременно внушив последним, что именно это необходимо им больше всего в период экономического краха США.
Модные аксиомы, опубликованные от ее имени, мгновенно становились бестселлером, а ее собственный гардероб — образцом для подражания. Многие ее фишки живы и работают до сих пор! Именно она сделала красный во всем его многообразии самым идеальным «женским цветом». Лак для ногтей, губная помада, румяна, аксессуары и даже интерьер ее собственной квартиры на Парк Авеню — «визитная карточка» Дианы Вриланд — все доказывало: красного много не бывает! Миниатюрное телосложение и гордая осанка позволяли ей носить облегающие наряды: она отдавала предпочтение узким брюкам и свитерам-гольфам в одной гамме, на торжества же облачалась в лаконичные платья, приправленные изысканными аксессуарами, — этот стиль с того времени так и не выходит из моды. Диана Вриланд ратовала за скромность силуэта и оригинальность в аксессуарном сопровождении, презирая обильное украшательство. Очень точно подметил король поп-арта Энди: «Она делает самую незначительную деталь — важной». Именно этому она пыталась научить читательниц. «Думайте о том, как одеты вы, а не кто-то другой», «Элегантность — врожденная черта. Она не имеет ничего общего с «быть хорошо одетым», или «Нет нужды рождаться красивой, чтобы быть дьявольски привлекательной» — ее афоризмы и по сей день цитируют представители модной индустрии.

Самый главный редактор

В 1963-м году Диана Вриланд становится главным редактором Vogue, и журнал переживает второе рождение: меняется не только визуальное решение обложки, перестраивается идеология — теперь активно пропагандируется уход за внешностью в целом. Под ее руководством издание становится самым модным журналом всех времен и народов. Модели, дизайнеры, фотографы, имеющие честь попасть на страницы Vogue, наутро просыпались знаменитыми.
Больше всего она доверяла собственному мнению, даже если оно шло вразрез с общественным: к примеру, Коко Шанель Вриланд публично осуждала, утверждая, что «ее клиентки — принцессы и графини, а она их одевает как секретарей и стенографисток». Свои правила Диана Вриланд установила не только в моде, но и в работе: не отрываясь от завтрака в постели — овсянки с чаем, — она работала с самого утра исключительно с рукописными текстами. Никаких печатных машинок: «Где вы видели, чтобы любовное письмо печатали на машинке?» — аргументировала она свою неприязнь к технике. В редакции она появлялась не раньше полудня и до глубокого вечера здесь кипели страсти.
Так продолжалось 8 лет, но в 1971-м году Диана Вриланд была уволена. Причина до сих пор под покровом тайны, впрочем, как и отношение к этому самой иконы стиля. Но руки экс-главред не опустила: на новом месте работы в музее Metropolitan в должности специального консультанта Института костюма она по-прежнему была верна великой Моде. С 1773 по 1989 года под ее патронатом проходят выставки «Мир Balenciaga», «Величественный русский костюм», «Романтический и гламурный голливудский дизайн» — и все они стали главными культурными событиями Нью-Йорка, собирая милли­оны посетителей. Благодаря ей Metropolitan при­знали всемирным центром моды! И это еще раз доказывает — чудеса в нашей жизни случаются, если за их организацию берутся необыкновенные люди. Такие, как Диана Вриланд, например…

"DV" by Diana Vreeland
The best-selling autobiography of this century's most formidable arbiter of elegance, Diana Vreeland.
As fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and editor-in-chief of Vogue, Diana Vreeland--and her passion, charm, insouciance, and genius for style--energized and inspired the fashion world for fifty years. In this glittering autobiography she takes us around the world with her, revealing her obsession with fashion high and low--pink plastic poodles, for example--and dropping timeless sayings like, "As you know, the French like the French very much." A fabulous, witty read

"Diana Vreeland: Bazaar Years" by John Esten Kathrerine Betts
"Why Don't You . . .
tie black tulle bows on your wrists?
have a yellow satin bed entirely quilted in butterflies?
remember how delicious champagne cocktails are after tennis or golf? Indifferent champagne can be used for these."
For more than half a century, Diana Vreeland, doyenne of American fashion, beguiled, awed, astonished, and was adored by almost anyone who created or wore clothes.Irresistible and flamboyant, socialite Mrs. T. Reed Vreeland began her now legendary twenty-five-year tenure at Harper's Bazaar writing a column of audacious advice: extravagant ideas that helped redefine American women and twentieth-century fashion. Her commentary created a fashion frenzy when it began appearing in Harper's Bazaar in 1936. Her ideas were simultaneously stylish and outrageous, and have as much appeal today as they did decades ago.
Here for the first time, John Esten has compiled one hundred of Mrs. Vreeland's kaleidoscopic "Why Don't You . . . ?" suggestions, and paired them with the breathtaking works of such renowned photographers and artists as Munkacsi, Dahl-Wolfe, Hoyningen-Heune, and Berard, which further capture the dazzling legacy of whimsy, elegance, and style of Mrs. Vreeland's Bazaar years.

"Allure" by Diana Vreeland, Christopher Hemphill
From the legendary Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, Diana Vreeland, comes this collection of work by some of the centurys greatest photographersamong them Horst, De Meyer, Avedon, Beaton, Penn, and Steichen, as well as the work of the paparazzito give shape to the culture of an era, and some of the celebrated personalities who set their imprint on it. Garbo, Nureyev, Callas, Queen Mary, Duchess of Windsor, and Josephine Baker are just a few of the luminaries whose presences in this book help define Diana Vreelands concept of allure.

"Diana Vreeland" by Eleanor Dwight

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