Documentary Captures Diana Vreeland's Place in Fashion History ; Vreeland Documentary Is a Must-See for Fashion Lovers

By sullivan, barbara | The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY), January 11, 2013 | Go to article overview

Documentary Captures Diana Vreeland's Place in Fashion History ; Vreeland Documentary Is a Must-See for Fashion Lovers


sullivan, barbara, The Buffalo News (Buffalo, NY)


For an entire generation of fashionistas, Anna Wintour is the first and the final word in matters of style.

But before there was Wintour, there was Diana Vreeland. Indeed, Diana Vreeland made Anna Wintour possible.

Vreeland, the iconic editor who presided over the fashion pages of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue for half a century, made many things possible. She ushered in the bikini, the blue jean, the supermodel. She elevated fashion and fashion photography to an art form with her inspired and outre editorial spreads.

Lisa Immordino Vreeland, the editor's granddaughter by marriage and a fashion expert in her own right, celebrates the life and explores the far-reaching influence of the Empress of Fashion in the documentary, "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel." Part history lesson, part homage, the documentary cleverly stitches together interviews with Vreeland (who died in 1989), as well as interviews with a who's who of fashion personalities, with family photos, film clips and images from Vreeland's magazine covers and spreads to tell the story of Vreeland's rise from a child in Belle Epoque Europe to the first doyenne of fashion. At the same time, it illustrates the evolution of women into roles of power and prominence throughout the 20th century.

In Vreeland's own voice - which was both literally and figuratively nothing short of unique - we hear about her love of dance, her rebellion during the Roaring '20s, her marriage to the dashing Reed Vreeland and her discovery by Harper's Bazaar's Carmel Snow. She spins compelling, captivating tales, some of which she winks might be a tad apocryphal. She talks about knowing people ranging from Nijinsky to Buffalo Bill, from Coco Chanel to Jackie Kennedy. She recalls seeing Lindbergh flying overhead and Hitler from afar at a theater.

During her tenure as Vogue's editor-in-chief, she transformed the magazine from a mere fashion book to a publication that exploded with fashion, art, music and film. …

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