Diana Vreeland Analysis

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Fashion icon, Diana Vreeland enriched the world with her brilliant imagination accompanied by her glamorous presence. Diana Vreeland by Eleanor Dwight reveals how the cosmopolitan heir became the 20th century’s most influential fashion editor through determination and creative talent. Vreeland’s biography encapsulates her “pizzazz” as it chronicles her personal history and professional progress. Taken from Vreeland’s personal scrapbooks, this lavish book displays more than three hundred never-before-seen color and black-and-white photographs and illustrations by top fashion photographers of the period, including David Bailey, Cecil Beaton, Brassaü, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, and Irving Penn. The pictures feature designers, models, and celebrities inspired by Vreeland, such as Cecil Beaton, Marisa Berenson, Truman Capote, Carmen, Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Lauren Hutton, Jackie Kennedy, Yves Saint Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Elsa Schiaparelli, Andy Warhol, and Elsie de Wolfe. The beginning of the book introduces Diana Dalziel, a privileged yet insecure debutante growing up in New York City during the Gilded Age. Young Diana, dissatisfied with her homely appearance, set out on a mission to reinvent herself. She changed her style and mannerisms. She developed grace, wit and poise. “Too bad your sister is so beautiful and you’re so extremely ugly,” her mother told her. Despite the emotional abuse inflicted by from her narcissistic mother, she remained optimistic and eventually achieved her goal of gaining popularity with her peers. Like her socialite mother, she became a regular in the society pages. Although Diana Vreeland never attained a college education, in 1937, Harper’s Bazaar hired her as fashion editor, writ... ... middle of paper ... ...mportant subject to learn about because she changed fashion forever. Ironically, this awkward and eccentric girl grew up to become the 20th century’s authority on style. During the 1940s to the 1970s, she maintained a profound influence in the fashion world, dictating fashion and style trends. “You are and always will be my fashion mentor,” Jackie Kennedy wrote to Vreeland, who assisted the First Lady in designing her signature style that women all over America imitated in the 1960s. Her clever advice enthused Harper’s Bazaar readers from the 1930s to the 1960s, and she ran Vogue in its most groundbreaking years from 1963 to1972. Finally, she managed the wildly successful annual historical costume shows at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute for 13 years. Although demanding and flamboyant, she had impeccable taste. When she died, she became a legend.

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