I snuck away and went to the movies solo the other day. I’ve always been quite obsessed with documentary film and seeing that one was featuring a woman I admired for a while from a far, I couldn’t be bothered to schedule time with a friend before I got to see it. The film, The Eye Has To Travel, is all about legendary fashion editor and icon, Diana Vreeland.
Not formally educated in anything but dance, Vreeland, a former lingerie shop owner and a mother of two, was discovered by Carmel Snow (editor of Harpers Bazaar at the time) while wearing Chanel. Snow loved how Vreeland put herself together and offered her a position without much interest in her lack of experience. Vreeland would start a column called Why Don’t You, which exposed her lighthearted and fun view of life to the world.
During her time at Bazaar, Vreeland would introduce the world to a young Lauren Bacall, make Richard Avedon the photographer, popularize the bikini and even help Jackie O create her signature style.
Lauren Bacall on the cover of Bazaar. Vreeland said of Bacall, “You can’t take a bad picture of her”
After resigning from Bazaar Vreeland went on to take the position of Editor-in-Chief of Vogue. She was the first to make real stories out of her editorials and made celebrities models and models celebrities.
Vreeland is remembered as being demanding, outrageous and highly quotable. I enjoyed watching her story unfold on screen and was so motivated by her ‘frankly, I don’t give a damn’ attitude. Not traditionally beautiful, educated or affluent, Vreeland made a name and a life for herself that will continue to inspire for decades to come.
If you live in Toronto you can catch the documentary at the TIFF Lightbox.