In the more than 40 years that Diana Vreeland (1903 – 1989) was part of the fashion world, she was an oracle, the high priestess of fashion, a myth maker. She was the fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar from 1937 to 1962, when she moved to Vogue. There, she was editor-in-chief until 1971.
Instead of resting on her laurels, she went on to become director of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with a new career staging annual exhibitions that drew more than one million visitors a year and made the museum a center of fashion excitement for NYC and the world.
In her memoir, D. V. published in 1984, she did not restrict her pronouncements to fashion: ”Chutney is marvelous. I’m mad about it. To me, it’s very imperial.” And ”Lettuce is divine, although I’m not sure it’s really food.”
Sometimes her quips had a remarkably practical slant:
”Whatever the fashion, the important thing is time for upkeep. We take it for granted that a girl gets the best she can for herself. But, if she doesn’t keep it up, if it isn’t in beautiful condition, if the shoes aren’t cleaned before she wears them every day and her bag isn’t cleaned and everything in it cleaned, she’ll never look like anything.”