“There’s only one thing in life, and that’s the continual renewal of inspiration.” – Diana Vreeland
Yesterday, we celebrated what would have been the 107th birthday of one fashion’s pioneering matriarchs, Diana Vreeland. Not only did she possess one of the keenest eyes for beauty but she was a genius of style and her overall attitude on the experience of existing was utterly unfettered.
She taught us to make statements through clothes, accessories, colors, and personality. She didn’t perpetuate the notion that the label makes the women, but instead believed that it is the purpose behind putting a dress on in the morning that defines who we are. Unapologetic in her principles and her affinity for red, she left an indelible mark on Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and on women everywhere.
Vreeland did it her way, having no fear and an opinion on everything. She lived in a world where magazines allowed women to transcend into an beautifully imaginative space and taught them how to belong there. Not belong to a label or a centralized picture of beauty, but to a world where a woman reigned supreme over her own prettiness, style, and direction.
In her own words:
“Fashion must be the intoxicating release from the banality of the world.”
“Vogue always did stand for people’s lives. I mean, a new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life your living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later.”
“I think when you’re young you should be a lot with yourself and your sufferings. Then one day you get out where the sun shines and the rain rains and the snow snows and it all comes together.”
“What’s extraordinary is the way everything modern fits in with everything old. It’s all a matter of combining. There’s no beginning or end there — only continuity.”
“I’m terrible on facts. But I always have an idea. If you have an idea, you’re well ahead.”
“I think we only live through our dreams and our imagination. That’s the only reality we really ever know.”
“But don’t think you were born too late. Everyone has that illusion. But you aren’t. The only problem is if you think too late.”
“I think I always had a perfectly clear view of what was possible for the public. GIVE ‘EM WHAT THEY NEVER KNEW THEY WANTED.”
“I mean, a new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life your living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later.”
“You gotta have style. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life. Without it you’re nobody.”
“You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female’.”
“There’s nothing more boring than narcissism- the tragedy of being totally…me. We’re all capable of it. And we all know examples of it- these beautiful tragedies… I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity.”
Yours in rouge,
(photo credit: dianavreeland.com)