Watch: Diana Vreeland 'The Eye Has to Travel' Trailer
A silver screen salute to the legendary magazine editor.
As we honour the passing of one fashion icon, the life of another resurfaces on the silver screen. Diana Vreeland's career is the focus of a documentary out later this year, The Eye Has to Travel, a title shared by a recent photo book celebrating her work. Known as the 'High Priestess of Fashion', Diana's contribution to the industry is legendary. As she says in the trailer (which just premiered on Fandango), "I wasn't a fashion editor, I was the one and only fashion editor."
Diana (pronounced Dee-yana) started her career at Harper's Bazaar, where she remained for almost 30 years before switching to Vogue to become Editor-in-Chief. There, she famously had her office painted red (her favourite colour), and every day, without fail, she enjoyed a peanut butter and marmalade sandwich and a glass of scotch for lunch. Although that doesn't sound terribly glamorous, she had more style than all of her contemporaries rolled into one.
Diana stayed at Vogue well into her 60s and it was there that she took things to the next level, featuring epic fashion stories that were shot in exotic locations, and candid portraiture of celebrities, including Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin, and her good friends, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. She also reportedly had little regard for budgets and as such was nudged out of the US title in the early 70s.
Her departure marked the end of an era — she was responsible for American Vogue's last moment of legit, uninhibited creativity before it switched focus to the commercial and everyday. Basically, Vogue's true spirit of fashion died (almost — there's still Vogue Italia).
Post-Vogue, Diana went on to work at The Costume Institute at the MET in New York and established it as the highly regarded retrospective that it is today. May Anna Wintour, for all her impressiveness, forever walk in her shadow.
In our Dream Issue (on sale now) we featured the director of the film, Lisa Immordino Vreeland (who is the wife of Diana's grandson, Alexander). She offered us these words of wisdom:
"In the spirit of Diana Vreeland, whose main aspiration was to transit the importance of dreaming and fantasy, why don't you become the rebel you have always wanted to be? Live your life with passion and let your passion guide you in every decision you make!"
Make sure you also check out our interview with Diana's protégé, Marissa Berenson, from issue #99.