When I was a young journalist working in New York I interviewed Diana Vreeland, at that time the former editor of American Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was divine, one of those rare beings who, through a flamboyantly artistic personal style and wildly creative approach to life, made herself unique.
She was fascinating in so many ways, she literally invented herself and proved if a woman is intelligent, has great wit, verve, style and a healthy soupçon of the quirky -- well, life could be grand. She made us believe it was and she certainly dressed the part.
I was very nervous about interviewing her because she was a legend and was in the process of reinventing a forgotten corner of a major institution, the Met's Costume Institute, which she turned into one of the fashion world's most glamourous venues.
She was, by her kindness and humor, one of the best stories I have ever had the good fortune to be assigned. After the piece was published, she sent me a hand-written thank you note on her creamy personal stationery.
|Proof, if we ever needed it, that less isn't always better. Why not?|
And, Marsi begins. . .
A film I've been so ansty to see finally came to town.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is a terrific little documentary by Lisa Immordino Vreeland (the wife of Diana's grandson Alexander) about the life and times of easily the most magnetic of magazine editors in fashion history, Diana Vreeland.
If you want to know about Vreeland's personal life, you won't find it here. This is almost pure style philosophy and bon mots -- and not at all a bad way to spend 90 minutes on a weekend afternoon.
|"The best thing about London is ... Paris."|
|"My education was the world."|
|"Unshined shoes are the end of civilization."|
(at home in her living room,
which she likened to "a garden in Hell")
|"If you had a bump on your nose, it made no difference|
so long as you had a marvelous body and good carriage."
|"If you think all the time every day of your life,|
you might as well kill yourself today and be happier tomorrow."
(with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis)
|"When I arrived in America, I had these very dark red nails, |
which some people objected to, but then some people
object to absolutely everything."
(wearing her signature horn and gold accessories)
|"The first rule that a geisha is taught, at the age of nine,|
is to be charming to other women.
Every girl in the world should have geisha training."
(with Marisa Berenson)
|"I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity."|
(with Jerry Hall)
|"Don't you think all women are slightly shy of all men?"|
(with Yves Saint Laurent)
|"The first thing to do, my love, is arrange to be born in Paris.|
After that, everything follows quite naturally."
To sample the rich flavor that Vreeland brought to life, watch the trailer below. Then go see the movie!
Now, we can't all have the extraordinary opportunities in our lives that Diana Vreeland had in hers -- times have changed and so too the world along with it -- but we can be inspired by the extravagance of her thoughts and the vibrancy of the color she brought to the most humble and ordinary of circumstances.
And, of course, we can all wear a bright red lip. No, really, there's a perfect shade and texture out there for everyone. This video, Ultimate Guide to Red Lips, by British makeup artist/goddess Lisa Eldridge shows us how.
I'll be dashing to Walgreens this afternoon to pick up that Maybelline "Non Stop Red" she can't get enough of ... I'd love to try the Tom Ford color she mentions that makes your teeth look bright and white, too.
Do you wear red lipstick? Do you agree that all women are slightly shy of all men? Did you arrange to be born in Paris? Have you seen (or will you see) The Eye Has to Travel?