Monday, July 25, 2011

Inspiration: Diana Vreeland


Diana Vreeland never considered herself a beauty, and yet is one of the most remembered and influential women in fashion and publishing.   Her signature "Why Don't You..." column in Harper's Bazaar provided dreamy, outlandish, and entertaining suggestions to make readers' lives anything but ordinary.  This column eventually catapulted her to the position of editor-in-chief for Vogue.  In 1984 she wrote her biography, D.V., which highlights her incredibly entertaining experiences and opinions.  For this very special Inspiration post containing excerpts from D.V., Mrs. Vreeland's own words regarding makeup and perfume speak for themselves.  

"I adore dressing and I adore making up. I adore the procedure- it's terribly invigorating, both during my getting up in the morning and during my getting ready to go out in the evening.  It gives me such pleasure."


"I adore artifice.  I always have.  I remember when I was thirteen or fourteen buying red lacquer in Chinatown for my fingernails.
'What is that?' my mother said.  'Where did you get it?  Why did you get it?'
'Because,' I said, 'I want to be a Chinese princess.'"

"Then...when I started going out a few years later, I discovered calcimine.  If I was going out -and I went out almost every night- two and a half hours before my escort arrived I'd start with this huge bottle of calcimine (I forget the brand, but it was theatrical stuff)--a sponge...I'd be totally calcimined from the waist up, out along the arms, the back, the neck, the throat, et cetera, et cetera...Then, when my escort and I would get up to dance, he, in his black dinner jacket, would be totally white.  I would come off on him.  But he'd have to put up with it.  It meant nothing to me--I looked like a lily!"


"Scent, although you can't see it, is as important to a well-turned-out woman as her makeup, her nail varnish, her pearls."

"Chanel No. 5, to me, is still the ideal scent for a woman.  She can wear it anywhere, anytime, and everybody--husbands, beaus, taxi drivers--everybody loves it.  No one has gone beyond Chanel No. 5."
Diana Vreeland

Why don't you... channel Mrs. Vreeland?  Deep red nail polish and red lipstick are absolutely essential.  If yours is YSL, Dior, or Tom Ford, so much the better!  Add a splash of Chanel No. 5 and make sure you are elegantly powdered.  Store all your treasures in a set of bright red lacquer boxes, perfect for stashing your bottle of scotch and cigarettes with your personal insignia.

“I’m a great believer in vulgarity- if it’s got vitality. A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste- it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.”

1 comment:

  1. She's on my inspiration list as well. Chanel 5 reminds me of great-granny, who at 95, still wears it.