This month’s review is about a documentary film covering many of the accomplishments of one of fashion’s most brilliant, eccentric, tyrannical, and fascinating women. For those of you who were too young to remember her (or not yet born by the time she died in 1989), Diana Vreeland was the original Anna Wintour, and perhaps the first ever fashion editor.
Vreeland was given her first position as a columnist at Harper’s Bazaar in 1936, when she was 33 years old, and stayed there for 26 years as the magazine’s fashion editor. When she was unable to get a satisfactory promotion, she moved on to become Editor in Chief at Vogue, from 1962 until 1971. In her third position, as perhaps one of the most influential consultants ever to work for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she created a string of blockbuster fashion exhibitions. Images from these exhibitions are very inspiring, not only for the fashions on display, but also for the environments Vreeland created – the lighting and décor were quite creative and inventive.
The documentary features reenacted voiceovers of conversations between Vreeland and journalist George Plimpton, who helped write her memoirs, simply called DV. Images from her long, illustrious career and life are shown. There are also clips of television interviews Mrs. Vreeland had over the years, and interviews with many celebrity friends and coworkers.
While not going into too much depth about the woman’s personal life, the film is highly educational, and an awful lot of fun to watch, especially some of the many famous pronouncements Vreeland made, such as,"The best thing about London is Paris."
I highly recommend seeing this; it could change your whole outlook on Fashion with a capital "F."
Reviewer: Michael Black, FIDM Museum Coordinator