Diana Vreeland by Eleanor Dwight
“Never worry about the facts, just project an image to the public.” – Diana Vreeland
First at Harper’s Bazaar and then as editor-in-chief at Vogue, the flamboyant and fabulous Diana Vreeland is perhaps the most important non-designer figure in 20th century fashion.
This is not the best biography ever written, leaving questions unanswered, but to be fair, Vreeland could not have been an easy subject with her selective memory and flights of imagination. But it’s that imagination, combined with her fierce surety — she didn’t report on trends, she created them — that makes Vreeland the towering fashion icon that she is. Diana (Dee-ah’-na) Vreeland was a starmaker, an arbiter of style and a creative Force (with a capital F) who drove fashion and photography to fantastical outer limits.
She was enormously influential in her time and her influence continues with important protégés including André Leon Talley (Vogue editor-at-large), Polly Mellen (Vogue sittings editor and Allure fashion director) as well as the late Carrie Donovan. From her socially-connected childhood, to owning a lingerie shop, to her “Why Don’t You…?” column for Harper’s Bazaar, her long tenure as Vogue editor, and her denouement as special consultant for over a decade at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, this is a great backgrounder on the magnificent D.V.
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Anna Piaggi’s Fashion Algebra: D.P. in Vogue
by Anna Piaggi
Speaking of influential and individual fashion personalities, Italian Vogue editor Anna Piaggi has been working in fashion since the 60s.
This is a collection 105 of her masterfully edited double-page spreads – mostly from the 90s — that for years spiced up the pages of Italian Vogue. See the work of major designers and avant emerging talents like Piaggi-pal Lagerfeld, Lacroix, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace given the context of trend and history.
These mad, sometimes over-the-top collages of fashion imagery encourage playful excess, mirroring Piaggi’s deeply eccentric personal aesthetic. (Blue lock!)
Check out this book now, before the 2006 exhibition “Next Word: The Work and Wardrobe of Anna Piaggi” at the Victoria and Albert Museum drives up her fashion currency and all the copies of her book are snapped up.
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