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Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2012: In several ways, Empress of Fashion is much like the woman it covers. Like Diana Vreeland (1903–1989)--the imperious, transformative editor of Vogue magazine, then the creator of the Costume Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Museum--British journalist Amanda Mackenzie Stuart’s biography lasts a long time. And while it isn’t always traditionally well formed, it is far deeper, smarter, and more important than it first appears. Who was Diana Vreeland? An arbiter of beauty who, by just about everyone’s admission, was not beautiful; a working woman before it was fashionable; a fiercely independent soul with an overriding, lifelong, bourgeois concern about money. And while Mackenzie Stuart might tread a tiny bit too heavily into the Freudian--Vreeland constantly tried to prove herself to her neglectful and often nasty mother, even years after the older woman's death--her deep research into everything from Vreeland’s childhood diaries to her social life (shimmying at Studio 54 in her 80s!) makes this bio, which has the approval of Vreeland’s estate, nothing short of--as Mrs. Vreeland herself might say--“divine.” --Sara Nelson
Stuart’s sympathetic biography has for its subject a fascinating figure whose life spanned almost the entire twentieth century, of which the author takes dizzying, delightful advantage—pre-Depression New York society life, between-the-world-wars Europe, and American dynamism of wartime and beyond—and thus provides a sturdy backdrop for the story of a legendary personage. Stuart reveals how Vreeland’s youthful struggles with acceptance from her mother, peers, and herself formed the Diana who, with a tendency to exaggerate and a flair for the exotic, irrevocably altered fashion journalism. Steadfast and headstrong, the delightfully quotable—to varying degrees of comprehension—Vreeland made leaping creative strides at Harper’s Bazaar only to often remake them at the more circulated but more conservative Vogue years later. The bright cast of photographers, models, and celebrities who filled Vreeland’s world adorn this cohesive, well-researched volume. The author acknowledges Lisa Immordino Vreeland, director of the 2012 documentary The Eye Has to Travel for her shared research. Readers will find the film and biography an exquisite pairing. --Annie BostromSee all Editorial Reviews
Diana Vreeland was a true American, as portrayed in this beautiful biography. It's also a history of the 1900's, fashion and society.Published 21 days ago by Jennifer Moeller
My girlfriend is a recent graduate of FIDM and has had this on her wish list for some time now. Figured I'd pick it up for her as a "just because" gift.Published 6 months ago by Phong Ho
I enjoy fashion and costume and have always found Diana Vreeland to be a singularly interesting woman. I read Vreeland's own "memoir" DV when it was published and enjoyed it. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Lyric
Beautifully written account of Diana Vreeland's life. ... A bit lacking on fun salacious details about the famous people around her but if you're interested in Mrs. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jamie
One of the most fascinating books on style I have read. Have ordered several copies for my friends. A perfect present!Published 10 months ago by Jutta MCNeil
Dee-Anna Vreeland was the original "it girl". I loved reading an unbiased relatively honest point of view. It was a great read and enjoyed it thoroughly.Published 13 months ago by Eileen K. Myers
She was fascinating and unique and very smart and observant. She remembered things as she wanted to. Amanda Stuart does the research, and sets things straight. Read morePublished 13 months ago by C. Gillespie
I do not usually like reading biographies - as opposed to autobiographies - but this one seems very well researched and written, so that the reader gets a sense of who Diana... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Heather Sutherland