Born Diana Dalziel in Paris to an American debutante socialite mother and British father, Diana Vreeland was a self-educated woman who grew up in London, New York and Paris, back and forth. Her family's friends were worldly notables of the various cities where they lived and thus young Diana absorbed her knowledge of humanity, history, the arts, etc. Her high school education was dance school, as she wanted only to dance, her parents sent her to a reputable dance academy in New York. From there she danced her way to becoming editor of Vogue and Harpers Bazaar of the 50s, 60s and 70’s and 80s where she became an important influence on our world of beautiful iconic images.
Her presence was said to have been formidable. As a young girl she was what is called “jolie laide”, a French term denoting an atypical beauty, attractive for its singularity and spirit. As a young girl about town, married to banker Harry Reed Vreeland, and dancing at one of the famed New York watering spots of the time, she was asked as to her interest in working for a woman’s magazine, famously she said “But I have never worked before!!!”, or words to that effect.
Here is one of her many opinions on anything under the sun - On TASTE – which is different from style: “Vulgarity is a very important ingredient in life. I am a great believer in vulgarity-if it’s got vitality. A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste-it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.”
Her style was above all comfortable, forward looking and self-expressive. Director Lisa Immordino Vreeland, filmed the documentary “The Eye has to Travel”, with it’s companion book, a graphic and image rich film that makes a lively introduction to Diana Vreeland’s professional highlights. The eye travels, the mind follows.
For more on Diana Vreeland
From Vanity Fair
From Leandra Medina’s www.manrepeller.com for some other great quotes
Lisa Immordino Vreeland youtube lecture on her grandmother in law