Diana Vreeland is even more vital and relevant today than at the time of her death in 1989. While her reputation in the fashion world is well known, the actual breadth of her career and extent of her reach is immeasurable. 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 undeniable perspective to the fashion world that has scarcely been seen since.
Gracious Living and Stylish Entertaining™ encompasses everything fashion-related making me one of Diana Vreeland's biggest fans. Before fashion editors became personalities/street-style stars/fodder for major motion pictures, there was the imminently quotable, largely self-invented and always fascinating Mrs. Vreeland, whose life took her from Belle Epoque Paris to Studio 54, whose friendships ranged from Coco Chanel and Wallis Simpson to Andy Warhol and Jack Nicholson, and whose imagination and keen eye propelled the pages of 'Harper's Bazaar' and 'Vogue' into the future and revolutionized the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute. She also, luckily for us, never seemed to say anything that didn't qualify as a perfect (not to mention totally Tweetable!!) little life quote so today, I want to share some of her humor and life lessons. Enjoy!
“Unshined shoes are the end of civilization.”
“You gotta have style. It helps you get down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it, you’re nobody. I’m not talking about lots of clothes.”
“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.”
“The first rule that a geisha is taught, at the age of nine, is to be charming to other women...Every girl in the world should have geisha training.”
“You know the greatest thing is passion, without it what have you got? I mean if you love someone you can love them as much as you can love them but if it isn’t a passion, it isn’t burning, it isn’t on fire, you haven’t lived.”
“There’s no such thing as a slack French face. Haven’t you ever noticed that? I’ve given this a lot of thought and I think it’s because the French have to exercise their jaws and the inside of their mouths so much just to get the words out. The vowels demand so much.”
“I think part of my success as an editor came from never worrying about a fact, a cause, an atmosphere. It was me—projecting to the public. That was my job. I think I always had a perfectly clear view of what was possible for the public. Give ‘em what they never knew they wanted.”
“Style—all who have it share one thing: originality.”
“There’s only one thing in life, and that’s the continual renewal of inspiration.”
“Prohibition. Insane idea. Try to keep me from taking a swallow of this tea and I’ll drink the whole pot.”
“Still, my dream in life is to come home and think of absolutely nothing. After all, you can’t think all the time.
“If you think all the time every day of your life, you might as well kill yourself today and be happier tomorrow.”
“I was always fascinated by the absurdities and luxuries and the snobbism of the world that fashion magazines showed. Of course, it’s not for everyone...But I lived in that world, not only during my years in the magazines business but for years before, because I was always of that world-- at least in my imagination.”
“The West is boring itself to death! And talking itself to death!”
“You can’t say ‘My masseur told me this.’ And then again, why can’t you?”
“Power has got to be the most intoxicating thing in the world—and of all forms of power the most intoxicating is fame.”
“I was the most economical thing that ever happened to the Hearst Corporation. Perhaps they loved me because I never knew how to get any money out of them.”