Ted Baker KSA

Diana Vreeland: Remembering THE Fashion Icon

By Marriam N Mossalli

She celebrated Barbara Streisand’s nose on the cover of Vogue. She placed a scandalous picture of a “swoonkini” during the conservative 40’s in Harper’s Bazaar. She believed daring oneself in the syntax of “Why don’t you…” should be a daily ritual, much like her peanut butter sandwich and scotch lunch. If there was anyone whose norm was to go against the grain, it was Diana Vreeland.

Vreeland was not just a pioneer in her industry, but also in her thoughts. She understood what it meant to be a creator, to posses a dream and not be confined by the status quo. She celebrated people’s flaws—much like her own for she was not the standard of beauty; and it was most likely this predisposition that caused her to fall so in love with the 60’s and its freethinking individualism. Vreeland knew that things had to change, and she was also looking forward.

Vreeland was a celebrity herself, elevating the position of the Keepers of Fashion—the editor. Having overshadowed her studio 54 crowd, Vreeland famously known for seeing things in people before they saw it in themselves. Having began as a columnist with Harper’s Bazaar in 1937, Vreeland had moved up to Fashion Editor by the time she left Hearst for Conde Nast’s Vogue in1962. She was editor-in-chief of Vogue from 1963 until 1971, at which time she moved on to the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute, where she worked up until her death in 1989.

“Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events,” Vreeland once said, “You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.” Above all, Vreeland was an educator. Today, her approach seems even more relevant as the Middle East attempts
to seamlessly fuse together the old customs of Arab tradition with the new technologies of a globalized online culture.

The true gold standard of fashion and style credibility, Mrs. Vreeland is responsible for launching many iconic careers, establishing countless trends that have stood the test of time, and bringing an unprecedented and incontrovertible perspective to the fashion world that has scarcely been seen since. Thankfully, the Anna-Wintour worshipping Y-generation will reminded of the priceless contributions she made through Hgr grandson’s wife, Lisa Immordino Vreeland, and her two groundbreaking projects: the large-format book and feature-length documentary entitled Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel.

“Mrs. Vreeland was one of the most exceptional people I have met in all my life. Her force of character, her glamour, her intelligence, her innate sense of elegance and her exuberance energized all those who met her.” -Yves Saint Laurent

Vreeland was more than just a fashion editor; she is a legend. She represented a new approach and an embracing of times changing. She was fashion’s well-dressed Che Guevara and if she were alive today, she would probably breakdown the entire system by refusing to have a twitter accountant because it’s entirely too mainstream. Most importantly, Vreeland was someone who never gave you what you wanted, but gave you what you didn’t even know you wanted. She was fashion’s savior.

A gift to the Met Museum by Diana Vreeland and her famous admonition that “the eye has to travel” which she herself exemplified. She searched the world for alternative beauty, in appearances and in apparel. Vreeland’s fascination with the veil – part ethnographic, part fashion adventurism – prompted her to find fashion uses for it. She frequently covered the heads of exhibition mannequins with veils, rendering them softer and more enigmatic.