Happy Birthday Diana Vreeland

Today is the 90th birthday of Diana Vreeland.  She was and continues to be the arbiter of style, even after her death 20+ years ago. Do yourself a favor and read “D.V.”:  her autobiography/manual of style/name-drop-a-thon book masquerading as a roller coaster ride through the early parts of the 20th century. It will seriously change your life. Watch “The Eye Has To Travel,” her documentary.  You will start to look at style as something you own, not something you follow and conform to.  She will teach you that the sexiest most attractive thing one can have and wear is confidence.   I absolutely adore her for the permission she gives people to be fashionable, be original, beautiful, without being ordinary or expected.  Wear some pearls today, wear your shirt back to front, do something original today.  Do it for yourself with a wink to Ms. Vreeland.

 

NAME: Diane Dalziel Vreeland
OCCUPATION: Journalist
BIRTH DATE: March 01, 1924
DEATH DATE: August 22, 1989
PLACE OF BIRTH: Paris, France

BEST KNOWN FOR: As a fashion journaist, Diana Vreeland was an influential figure in American fashion during the 20th century.

Diana Vreeland began her career at Harper’s Bazaar in 1936. Her column “Why Don’t You…?” was famous for offering outlandish fashion and lifestyle tips for the times. Vreeland later became the magazine’s fashion editor and established herself as one of the country’s leading arbiters of style. In 1962, Vreeland joined the staff of Vogue and continued to be a powerful force in the fashion world.

Fashion journalist. Born Diana Dalziel on March 1, 1924, in Paris, France. Diana Vreeland was an influential figure in American fashion during the twentieth century. The daughter of wealthy parents, she spent her early years in France before moving to New York as a teenager.

Diana Vreeland began her career as a columnist for Harper’s Bazaar in 1936. Her column “Why Don’t You . . . ?” was famous for offering outlandish fashion and lifestyle tips for the times. Few could afford in the Depression follow her advice. Moving up the editorial ladder, Vreeland became the magazine’s fashion editor, a post she held until the early 1960s. At Harper’s Bazaar, she established herself as one of the country’s leading arbiters of style.

In 1962, Diana Vreeland joined the staff of Vogue, another influential fashion magazine, as editor in chief. At Vogue, she continued to be a powerful force in the fashion world, often able to identify the coming trends, such as the popularity of the bikini. Vreeland also worked with many well-known photographers, such as Richard Avedon, in making the magazine.

While she left Vogue in 1971, Diana Vreeland did not leave the fashion world. She worked as a consultant for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, putting together fashion exhibitions. Vreeland died on August 22, 1989. Married to T. Reed Vreeland since 1924, she had two sons, Thomas R., Jr., and Frederick.

Personal Quotes:

“People who eat white bread have no dreams.”

“Blue jeans are the most beautiful things since the gondola.”

“Elegance is innate. It has nothing to do with being well dressed. Elegance is refusal.”

“I always wear my sweater back-to-front; it is so much more flattering.”

“I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity.”

“Pink is the navy blue of India.”

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Happy Birthday Antonio Lopez

Today is the 71st Birthday of Antonio Lopez (February 11, 1943 – March 17, 1987).  Antonio was a fashion illustrator whose work appeared in such publications as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Interview and The New York Times. Several books collecting his illustrations have been published. In his obituary, the New York Times called him a “major fashion illustrator.” He generally signed his works as “Antonio.”

Antonio Lopez is the Picasso of fashion illustration. Mostly known as just plain ‘Antonio’, he was a giant in the field of fashion illustration. He captured the pulse of style from the 60s to the 80s, and is still revered as the most inspiring illustrator by today’s practitioners. He worked with a variety of materials including pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, watercolor and polaroid film. His work appeared frequently in Vogue, Harper’s bazzar, Elle and Interview.

Recording and predicting contemporary style trends, Antonio also used his immense versatility to adopt a broad range of art movements, from Pop Art to Surrealism.

For Antonio, life – bestial and sublime – surpassed any fiction. His illustrations and photographs capture the beautiful people who are part of celebrity folklore, and who were more often than not his friends: Jerry Hall (to whom he was engaged), Grace Jones, Mick Jagger, Audrey Hepburn, Andy Warhol (with whom he worked on Interview magazine), Paloma Picasso and Marlene Dietrich.

Packed with previously unpublished material, this is a thrilling retrospective about an artist who is represented in major collections from the Metropolitan to the Louvre. Even posthumously, Antonio has not relinquished his grip on the fashion world: his style and quest for beauty live on.

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Self Help From Mrs. Vreeland

It is true, the best of everything is a bit shocking, a bit nasty, just a bit off.  That’s what makes it interesting.  That is what makes it ‘a bit of all right.’   It’s too impossible to rattle through all the quotes of Diana Vreeland that are so spot-on incredible, and the film!  Even if you don’t know a hounds tooth from a eyetooth and don’t even care to, this woman is an instruction on how to LIVE!  Become it, make it, do it, EXCLAIM IT!  Always be interested, always learn, be excited about something/anything.  I guess, overall, do not be a passive participant in life, go out and make it whatever you want, become whoever you want, and perhaps, consider wearing your V-neck sweaters back-to-front, it’s simply more glamorous.

Diana Vreeland by Horst P. Horst.

“too much good taste can be boring.” - Diana Vreeland

Diana Vreeland – Style Icon

Diana Vreeland was and continues to be the arbiter of style, even after her death 20+ years ago. Do yourself a favor and read “D.V.”:  her autobiography/manual of style/name-drop-a-thon. It will seriously change your life. Watch “The Eye Has To Travel,” her documentary.  You will start to look at style as something you own, not something you follow and conform to. She will teach you that the sexiest most attractive thing one can have and wear is confidence. Ladies and gentlemen, Diana Vreeland. Style Icon.

NAME: Diane Dalziel Vreeland
OCCUPATION: Journalist
BIRTH DATE: March 01, 1924
DEATH DATE: August 22, 1989
PLACE OF BIRTH: Paris, France
BEST KNOWN FOR: As a fashion journaist, Diana Vreeland was an influential figure in American fashion during the 20th century.

Diana Vreeland began her career at Harper’s Bazaar in 1936. Her column “Why Don’t You…?” was famous for offering outlandish fashion and lifestyle tips for the times. Vreeland later became the magazine’s fashion editor and established herself as one of the country’s leading arbiters of style. In 1962, Vreeland joined the staff of Vogue and continued to be a powerful force in the fashion world.

Fashion journalist. Born Diana Dalziel on March 1, 1924, in Paris, France. Diana Vreeland was an influential figure in American fashion during the twentieth century. The daughter of wealthy parents, she spent her early years in France before moving to New York as a teenager.

Diana Vreeland began her career as a columnist for Harper’s Bazaar in 1936. Her column “Why Don’t You . . . ?” was famous for offering outlandish fashion and lifestyle tips for the times. Few could afford in the Depression follow her advice. Moving up the editorial ladder, Vreeland became the magazine’s fashion editor, a post she held until the early 1960s. At Harper’s Bazaar, she established herself as one of the country’s leading arbiters of style.

In 1962, Diana Vreeland joined the staff of Vogue, another influential fashion magazine, as editor in chief. At Vogue, she continued to be a powerful force in the fashion world, often able to identify the coming trends, such as the popularity of the bikini. Vreeland also worked with many well-known photographers, such as Richard Avedon, in making the magazine.

While she left Vogue in 1971, Diana Vreeland did not leave the fashion world. She worked as a consultant for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, putting together fashion exhibitions. Vreeland died on August 22, 1989. Married to T. Reed Vreeland since 1924, she had two sons, Thomas R., Jr., and Frederick.

Personal Quotes:

“People who eat white bread have no dreams.”

“Blue jeans are the most beautiful things since the gondola.”

“Elegance is innate. It has nothing to do with being well dressed. Elegance is refusal.”

“I always wear my sweater back-to-front; it is so much more flattering.”

“I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity.”

“Pink is the navy blue of India.”

Diana Vreeland by Horst P. Horst.

Image via Wikipedia

February – Style Icon Month

waldina mosaic

Maybe I have not ever explained what criteria I use when assigning people the “Style Icon” and “Not So Secret Obsession” status?

Style Icons are assigned to people I admire, if it is simply beauty or fashion, it is most likely unconventional and risky choices that provoke conversation.  They are artists, writers, musicians, politicians, humanitarians, architects, activists, actors, directors, fashion designers, scientists, basically anyone whose life work fascinates me and I admire. They are almost always dead because it is my moderate worry that dead people will be forgotten and keeping an ongoing list of them is my effort to remember them.  If, along the way, someone else likes them and discovers someone that fascinates them, even better.

Not So Secret Obsessions are usually things or events.  I am obsessed with Hardy Boys books and the 1968 Sears Holiday catalog for their retro goody-goody aesthetic.  I am obsessed with political street art:  you can be walking down the sidewalk and be visibly reminded that Republicans thing that some rape is OK.

For the month of February (and maybe a bit of a spill-over into March) I will be focusing only on Style Icons.  One a day, like a multivitamin, I will be dosing you with people that inspire me.  The format is straight-forward:  I will write a bit at the top of the post about what it is that inspires me about the person, followed by their details.  I will do my best to include links to additional reading at the bottom of the post.

9th (Self Help) Day of Xmas – Mrs. Vreeland

It is true, the best of everything is a bit shocking, a bit nasty, just a bit off.  That’s what makes it interesting.  That is what makes it ‘a bit of all right.’   It’s too impossible to rattle through all the quotes of hers that are so spot-on incredible, and the film!  Even if you don’t a hounds tooth from a eyetooth and don’t ever care to, this woman is an instruction on how to LIVE!  Become it, make it, do it, EXCLAIM IT!  Always be interested, always learn, be excited about something/anything.  I guess, overall, do not be a passive participant in life, go out and make it whatever you want, become whoever you want, and perhaps, consider wearing your V-neck sweaters back-to-front, it’s simply more glamorous.

Diana Vreeland by Horst P. Horst.

“too much good taste can be boring.” - Diana Vreeland

Antonio Lopez – Style Icon

Antonio Lopez (February 11, 1943 – March 17, 1987) was a fashion illustrator whose work appeared in such publications as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Interview and The New York Times. Several books collecting his illustrations have been published. In his obituary, the New York Times called him a “major fashion illustrator.” He generally signed his works as “Antonio.”

Antonio Lopez is the Picasso of fashion illustration. Mostly known as just plain ‘Antonio’, he was a giant in the field of fashion illustration. He captured the pulse of style from the 60s to the 80s, and is still revered as the most inspiring illustrator by today’s practitioners. He worked with a variety of materials including pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, watercolor and polaroid film. His work appeared frequently in Vogue, Harper’s bazzar, Elle and Interview.

Recording and predicting contemporary style trends, Antonio also used his immense versatility to adopt a broad range of art movements, from Pop Art to Surrealism.

For Antonio, life – bestial and sublime – surpassed any fiction. His illustrations and photographs capture the beautiful people who are part of celebrity folklore, and who were more often than not his friends: Jerry Hall (to whom he was engaged), Grace Jones, Mick Jagger, Audrey Hepburn, Andy Warhol (with whom he worked on Interview magazine), Paloma Picasso and Marlene Dietrich.

Packed with previously unpublished material, this is a thrilling retrospective about an artist who is represented in major collections from the Metropolitan to the Louvre. Even posthumously, Antonio has not relinquished his grip on the fashion world: his style and quest for beauty live on.

Better Like This? Or Better Like This?

I am deciding on my next pair of readers from Warby Parker.  I have three pairs currently, but need a new pair (with a stronger power) and decided to use their Home Try-On Program.  You can pick up to five pairs of glasses to try on at home, it takes all the worry out of online buying.  They ship them to you, you ship them back after you decide which one is the best for you.

Also, for every pair of glasses they sell, they provide a pair to someone in need.  So you read easier and help someone see better all at the same time.  Here are the options I chose, feel free to vote below:

Mrs. Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel

Last night, we saw “Diana Vreeland:  They Eye Has To Travel” at the Egyptian Theater.  Here is the movie synopsis:

An intimate portrait and a vibrant celebration of one of the most influential women of the 20th century, an enduring icon whose influence changed the face of fashion, beauty, art, publishing and culture forever. During her fifty year reign as the “Empress of Fashion,” she launched Twiggy , advised Jackie O and coined some of fashion’s most eloquent proverbs such as “the bikini is the biggest thing since the atom bomb.” She was the fashion editor of HARPER’S BAZAAR where she worked for 25 years before becoming editor in chief of VOGUE followed by a remarkable stint at the Met’s Costume Institute where she helped popularize its historical collections.

She is a frequent subject here at waldina.com and deservedly so, she changed 20th century fashion, she got people to dream, she gave numerous fashion designers, photographers, writers, and models their break.  She made it a party that everyone was invited to and encouraged to attend.  And if you have learned anything, you will rise to your feet, exclaim “GREAT!”, rouge your ears, reverse your V-neck sweater, throw on your favorite blue jeans, and brush up on your knowledge of the Ballet Russe (it will be a topic of conversation), and never look back (always forward).

“too much good taste can be boring.”Diana Vreeland

Her official bio from the movie website:

DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL is an intimate portrait and a vibrant celebration of one of the most influential women of the 20th century, an enduring icon whose influence changed the face of fashion, beauty, art, publishing and culture itself forever.
Along the way, the story of Vreeland illustrates the evolution of women into roles of power and prominence throughout the 20th century, and travels through some of the century’s greatest historical and cultural eras, including Paris’ Belle Epoque, New York in the roaring twenties, and London in the swinging sixties. It also spans such historical events as the great wars, the flights of Lindbergh, the romance of Wallis and Windsor, the Kennedy inauguration, and the freewheeling spirit of the 1960′s youthquake, and the advent of countless fashion revolutions from the bikini to the blue jean.

Diana Vreeland (1903-1989) was the 20th Century’s greatest arbiter of style, an exotic and vibrant character who, during her fifty-year reign as the “Empress of Fashion,” dazzled the world with her unique vision of style high and low. She launched Twiggy, advised Jackie O, and coined some of fashion’s most eloquent proverbs such as “the bikini is the biggest thing since the atom bomb.” She lived a vibrant and remarkable life, and as the star performer in her own drama, Diana began writing the script for it at an early age.
It all started during the Belle Époque: modernism, Art Nouveau, the Ballets Russes, and haute couture. Diana was fascinated with the glamorous and eccentric characters of this era who paraded through her parents’ living room in Paris. But her childhood was also marked by the loveless relationship she had with her mother, an American beauty. “I was always her ugly little monster,” Diana recalled. As World War I started, the family moved back to America. Diana, forced to speak English, developed a stutter and failed in school. Eventually she dropped out and found refuge in dance, a true passion.

If Diana felt insecure about her looks, she never wallowed in it. Instead, she created her own world in which style, originality, and allure were supreme. She invented a dazzling persona that embraced every moment of life as an adventure, whether she was witnessing the coronation of George V or riding horses with Buffalo Bill in Wyoming. At 19, she captured the heart of one of the most handsome and eligible bachelors, Reed Vreeland – “the most ravishing, devastating killer-diller,” as she put it later. Together they settled in London and started a life full of romantic trips around Europe in their Bugatti coupé: Paris, Budapest, Vienna, Rome. During these years, she cultivated her love of couture and became friends with all the couturiers in Paris.

Diana’s unexpected career in fashion began upon her return to New York in 1936 when Carmel Snow, the editor of Harper’s Bazaar, noticed her unique style and look at a party. Diana was hired as Bazaar’s fashion editor, and she immediately became renowned for her provocative “Why don’t you?” column that dared readers to open their imagination and live their dreams. She would write homilies such as, “Why don’t you rinse your blond child’s hair in dead Champagne to keep its gold,” or “have a white monkey-fur bedcover mounted on yellow velvet?” Through her column and photography spreads, Diana lent the magazine pages of her amazing flair for beauty, high and low. Photographer Richard Avedon, who affectionately called her his “crazy aunt,” exclaimed, “she was and remains the only genius fashion editor.”

After twenty-five years at Harper’s Bazaar, Diana resigned and took over as Vogue editor-in-chief. It was the swinging sixties, where – as Diana would say – “you could have a bump on your nose, it made no difference so long as you had a marvelous body and carriage.” Uniqueness was being celebrated and Vreeland’s transformation of Vogue was at the vanguard of this cultural revolution. The pages of Vogue exploded with fashion, art, music, film; this became its “golden years.” It was suddenly a young, new and exciting magazine, where models had personalities and fashion spoke to all women. Diana became a living legend, with her striking silhouette, her jet-black hair, and her peculiar voice, somewhere between high society and street slang. Her famous red living room, “a garden in hell,” became the headquarters for New York arts and society. Diana would look upon these years as her most glorious ones; she had finally found an era fit for her vivid and wild imagination.

Shortly after the death of her husband, Diana was abruptly fired from Vogue in 1971, turning the fashion world upside down. Rumors had it that she was so distraught that she took to bed for a year, but Diana was far from having her last dance. In 1972, at age seventy, she started working at the Met’s Costume Institute where she set new standards for exhibiting fashion worldwide, awakening an institution that had been forever sleepy. Like a film director, she created sets in which elaborate fantasies came to life. Her controversial approach – based on drama and theatre sometimes more than historical fact – was criticized by some historians, but they were silenced when her shows brought in huge crowds and put the Costume Institute on the map. Diana blended fact with fantasy throughout her career, even once exclaiming that Charles Lindberg had flown over her lawn in Brewster on his way to Paris. Upon being asked if her story was fact or fiction, she responded, “Faction!”
 
Diana Vreeland was the oracle of fashion for much of the 20th century, inviting us to join her on a voyage of perpetual reinvention and take part in the adventure of life. Through her trained and diligent eye, she opened the door of our minds and gave us the freedom to imagine. Her images and accomplishments are as fresh and relevant now as they were then, and her spirit is just a vibrant and relevant today. As Jackie Onassis once put it: “To say Diana Vreeland has dealt only with fashion trivializes what she has done. She has commented on the times in a wise and witty manner. She has lived a life.”

Diana Vreeland by Horst P. Horst.

Diana Vreeland by Horst P. Horst. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1960s Bond – Style Icon

Why He’s A Style Icon

In the nearly 50 years since the earliest James Bond movies starring Sean Connery were made, the special effects in the films have considerably improved with each passing decade. However, when looking back at the films that started it all, it’s striking how Sean Connery’s wardrobe as James Bond is as stylish and glamorous now as it was then. In the early ‘60s, most men donned a suit and tie every day when heading to the office, and the always perfectly turned-out James Bond provided an example of classic British style that showed men around the world the importance of dressing like you’ve got somewhere to go. Not one to be caught dead in anything that didn’t exude class and polish, ‘60s Bond stuck to luxe basics, demonstrating to men everywhere that looking perpetually good can be as simple as buying the most high-quality garments you can afford and wearing them with confidence.

And regardless of the generation you belong to, if you’ve ever had any doubt about the power of clothes to influence women, ‘60s Bond proves that practicing good grooming and putting a bit of effort into your wardrobe will actually increase your masculine allure and make you utterly irresistible.

Dress The ‘60s Bond Way

To look like Sean Connery’s ‘60s Bond, you’ll need to start buying your clothes as classically as you can. If it’s at all possible within your shopping budget, get a British-style suit made just for you. It will fit like a glove, emphasizing all the best parts of your body and creating the look of a very strong and masculine physique. And don’t be afraid that old-English tweed blazers or three-piece suits will be difficult to pull off. While it’s true that modern men don’t dress up as much on a daily basis as ‘60s James Bond did, all you have to do to avoid seeming old-fashioned is pair these pieces with some contemporary apparel. When it comes to what to pack for a holiday, we can all learn a thing or two from ‘60s Bond as well.

In 1965’s Thunderball, Sean Connery is pictured defeating evil-doers in the Bahamas in a blue and white vertically striped shirt and a pair of white trousers, a look that’s just as cool and elegant now as it was then. The stripes on this comfortable shirt are slimming and nothing says vacation like crisp white pants. Of course, James Bond never leaves home without his impressive collection of watches, including the Rolex Submariner in Goldfinger (1964) and the Breitling Top Time in Thunderball.

Style Icon: ’60s Bond – AskMen.com.