Recently I was asked to write a review of the latest book on Diana Vreeland, The Modern Woman, edited by her grandson, Alexander Vreeland, and published, not surprisingly, by Rizzoli.
In my long career as a fashion journalist beginning in my 20s at Women’s Wear Daily and W, through all the other editor positions at publications in the United States and France, followed by my years as a freelance writer and now “author” (I can barely utter that word), only two of the hundreds of people I interviewed wrote notes to me.
One was Bill Blass, the other was Diana Vreeland — both of them are framed and hang in my office.
My deadline for the review is this week and I have almost finished the wonderful, wonderful book. It’s taking me a while because I cannot help lingering over the fashion pages from her years at Harper’s Bazaar. They are a study in not only creativity and visionary relevance for each of the wildly different historical periods her career spanned at the publication, but also her acute intelligence and, yes, feminism, but more about that in my review.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a Diana Vreeland groupie and every new book about her simply reinforces my admiration for a woman who was before her time and of her time. She is, and always will be, one of the very few originals in le monde de la mode, as she might have said — considering she was born in Paris.