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Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland Hardcover – December 4, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
As the author of this book, Amanda McKenzie Stuart, wryly observes: "Capote, of course, parachuted out of an explanation by asserting that one had to be a genius to understand what he meant." Was Vreeland a creative genius? If yes, what was the nature of her genius? How did it manifest itself in her work? How has it impacted us, and what can we learn from her particular genius?
This riveting and brilliant biography explores those questions. "This book is for non-geniuses interested in the nature of Diana Vreeland's talent and achievements," writes Stuart.
It is fitting that Vreeland has a British biographer in Amanda Mackenzie Stuart. Stuart understands if it weren't for Vreeland's time in England from 1929-1935, Vreeland never would have had an entree into the fashion-publishing world. Vreeland's exposure to Europe then, and earlier, distinguished her and enriched her perception. It was in London that she was mentored by Elsie De Wolfe (Lady Mendl), was drawn by Cecil Beaton, took tea with Conde Nast, met Wallace Simpson and the King and Queen of England, and flew to Paris to be fitted by Coco Chanel. When Vreeland returned to America, her insights into fashionable European society were in demand. These contacts she made in Europe would support everything she accomplished in the future.Read more ›
Diana Dalziel Vreeland was born of a British father and an American mother, in 1903 in Paris. Her family moved to New York right before WW1, but Diana, with her Parisian birth, remained a Franco-phile her entire life. Because she was not a beautiful woman - her mother and younger sister were the beauties in the Dalziel family - Diana had to use her brains and creativity to get ahead in the world. She married an extremely handsome man - Thomas "Reed" Vreeland - and raised two sons with him. Reed Vreeland was a banker but Diana made the coin in the Vreeland household.
Intensely creative and ambitious, Diana went to work at Harper's Bazaar for editor Carmel Snow as a sort of editor-at-large, giving seemingly gratuitous advise to Bazaar readers like, "Why don't you paint a map of the world on all four walls of your boys' nursery so they won't grow up with a provincial point of view?" Other suggestions like washing your blonde daughter's hair in champagne to keep its color may have seemed a bit out of step with the times, but somehow Vreeland's audacious writing to her middle-class readers was considered charming.Read more ›
Diana Vreeland was an original and an innovator and like another woman of her times, Julia Child, she changed women's lives forever.
I heartily recommend this excellent book to anyone but particularly to those readers who admire strong, iconoclastic survivors.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just could not get into this book. Sorry , subject matter just did not hold my interestPublished 6 months ago by lilyann
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 7 months 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 13 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 14 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 14 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 17 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 20 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 20 months ago by C. Gillespie