Posts Tagged ‘vogue’

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The moment I’ve been waiting for has finally come! Last March, I blogged about the Diana Vreeland documentary The Eye Has To Travel and the infamous office memos she wrote during her reign as editor in chief of Vogue magazine. I discovered that some years ago, Visionaire Magazine published a collection of said memos in their Issue 37, and I’d only been able to find a handful of them online. With the issue itself being incredible rare and selling for hundreds of dollars, I thought, how great would it be if someone published all of her memos. What a great book that would make! Well it finally happened, today you can buy Memos: The Vogue Years and I couldn’t be more excited to get my hands on a copy.

Vreeland’s official site writes, “Memos offers an extraordinary compilation of more than 250 pieces of Vreeland’s personal correspondence—most published here for the first time, and personally selected by Vreeland’s grandson, Alexander Vreeland. Her vibrant letters to photographers, including Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst, Norman Parkinson, and Snowdon, explain the genesis of some of Vogue’s most celebrated stories. Photographs from the magazine illustrate the memos, showing Vreeland’s boundless imagination, prescience, and ability to elicit inspiration when assigning photographers work. While her memos and letters to and about designers—Cristobal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino Garavani, Guccio Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Diane von Furstenberg—give the reader an intimate education in fashion.”


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V Magazine published a collection of her memos online here.
You can see more below.

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Letter to Balenciaga (above).

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Freckles on the models …  (above).

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The year of the ribbon (above).

In celebration of the book’s release, Bergdorf Goodman created a beautiful window installation at their store here in NYC, and I took a few pictures below. The pictures don’t truly do the windows justice, so if you’re in NYC, stop by Bergdorfs this week and see them in person!

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Ugh this woman!

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Before Anna Wintour there was Diana Vreeland, she essentially created the role of fashion editor in today’s fashion magazines. She really was such an inspiring and modern woman. Watch her documentary and then pick up this book.
You won’t be disappointed. Get into it!

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It’s that time of year again, the 2013 September issues have arrived! And so have the new fall advertising campaigns. Last Friday I picked up each issue pictured above: the September Elle (600+ pages), Vogue (902 pages!), Harper’s Bazaar, W and New York Magazine. Note to readers: buying and carrying 20+ pounds of fashion magazines home is not easy! After flipping through each, I noticed a few trends in regards to advertising. So many of this seasons campaigns are shot on dark/black backgrounds. Many take place at night. It’s funny how they all do this at once – something must be in the air. I’ve narrowed down to my favorites, and LEAST favorite. Which are you feeling (or not feeling??) … my picks below.

My #1 favorite: Valentino’s Fall 2013 ad campaign. Love the still-life/portrait painting concept. Love love love everything.


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Coming in a close 2nd is the Fall 2013 Balenciaga campaign shot by Steven Klein and art directed by Alexander Wang. I love how bold and graphic these are. The images are quite arresting, in a good way!

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My last favorite is Oscar de la Renta’s Fall 2013 campaign. The photography and styling is beautiful. What is innovative about this campaign is that the de la Renta folks premiered it on Instagram, not in the Sept. issues. The full campaign can be seen in print, but we got a first look (above) on Oscar’s Instagram account.


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Yesterday I blogged about Grace Coddington, Creative Director at Vogue and her uninspiring memoir Grace. After ranting about my disappointment with her memoir, I wanted to show you how it’s done. Everyone knows about Anna Wintour, but before Anna there was Diana! Diana Vreeland is best known for holding the top position at American Vogue and her earlier years at Harper’s Bazaar. As she famously said, “I wasn’t a fashion editor, I was THE ONE AND ONLY fashion editor.” After the magazines, Vreeland staged another career comeback by transforming the Met’s Costume Institute from a sleepy storage facility into a vibrant and wildly popular wing of the museum. Under Vreeland’s leadership the Met housed 15 blockbuster shows, much like the hugely popular shows at the Costume Institute today.

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In the fall I saw her documentary The Eye Has to Travel and I was hooked on her larger than life personality. She really was a treasure, though I would have been terrified to work for her. I didn’t know much about her before seeing the movie, but now I can’t get enough. I’m currently reading the book The Eye Has to Travel by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, but I’d DIE to find more of her famous office memos the documentary talks about. Visionaire writes,

One day a mysterious package arrived at the Visionaire offices. It was a large box containing more than four-hundred original memos from Diana Vreeland to her staff at Vogue. The package had been sent to us by a contributor who preferred to remain anonymous but who had been on the receiving end of some of this legendary inter-office correspondence. In some ways, the experience was like stumbling upon fashion’s Holy Grail. We had heard stories about these memos but were stunned to find out that they actually existed. Dating from 1966 to 1972, the memos, which were dictated to Vreeland’s secretary from the sanctuary of her bathroom each morning, covered topics ranging from the wacky (the use of freckles or the utter importance of dog collars, for example) to the divine (the genius of Halston). But more importantly, the Vreeland memos provide a rare glimpse inside the mind of one of the most influential women in fashion history. (Visionaire 37)

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“I am extremely disappointed to see that we have used practically no pearls at all in the past few issues. In fact, many necklines could have been helped by pearls worn inside the dress that show inside the cutaway sides and back of most ordinary dresses on top…

I speak of this very often — and as soon as I stop speaking the pearls disappear.

Nothing gives the luxury of pearls. Please keep this in mind.”

-Diana Vreeland in a December 9, 1966 memo

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It looked marvelous.


How amazing would it be to read a larger collection of these memos?? Just like Vreeland said herself, I’d DIE to get my hands on a copy of Visionaire 37 that published 150 of Vreeland’s office memos. I’m sure one day they’ll surface in a larger collection. So until that is published, check out the a-mazing documentary and the book! You won’t regret it!

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Grace_A Memoir

This Christmas I was beyond excited to learn that Grace Coddington’s memoir, Grace was finally hitting the shelves. I quickly ordered the book and over the next few weeks began digesting the bright orange volume. After falling in love with Grace from The September Issue, I couldn’t wait to read a more in-depth account of her life. Of course Grace would have all these profound thoughts on living a creative life and being an artist of sorts, right? Well sadly, I’m left a bit underwhelmed. Her memoir is overwhelmingly surface and gives little insight into her feelings of loss and triumph in her career. She had several highs and lows, but quickly glosses over each subject, one after another. One example that particularly stuck out in my mind,

“.. driving home one afternoon on a visit to London from Paris, I ran into an especially nasty bunch milling about outside my door …  No matter how gently I tried inching my car through the mob, they grew more and more incensed until all of a sudden my little Mini, with me inside, was lifted off the ground and thrown heavily on it’s side. Although I wasn’t injured, I was seven months pregnant .. and the next day I suffered a miscarriage. This turned out to be the only time in my life that I was able to conceive. The incident was one of the most traumatic of my life.”

HEARTBREAKING right? Then literally the next paragraph she switches subjects and talks about how her and Albert (Grace’s boyfriend at the time) had purchased a new apartment in London, despite her frequent travels to Paris, and begins talking about one of their cats. How can his be one of the most traumatic events in your life, and you not talk about it? Isn’t that the point of a memoir – to talk about how you get through these events? I can’t imagine dealing an event like that, but it baffles me how Grace can touch on something so deep without any depth. There’s also a few stories about artists and designers she knew through the years, and Grace talks about how talented they were, and then they died of AIDS. Then onto next subject. I just don’t get it.

I wanted more. I’m sure she got paid a lot to write her memoir, but I was hoping for more Grace! It’s interesting that someone so highly regarded for being a talented storyteller in their professional life would chose to tell the story of their own life in this way. So many of my friends bought the book and just about every person working in fashion, and I wonder if they felt the same? For anyone else interested in the book – I’d suggest to settling with the September Issue, watching the HBO Documentary In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye (which was great!), and enjoying her work in the glossy pages of Vogue.


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The following photos I scanned from French Vogue Nov. 2009, shot by David Sims.
I loved the Keith Haring inspired photo shoot, and the general design of the magazine.
European fashion magazines are so much better than the ones here …

Here’s the cover, notice the gold reflective inks used.
The physical piece is really beautiful.

Table of contents, just love how it looks together.

David Sims photographed Isabeli Fontana for the French Vogue November 2009 cover on July 19 +20, 2009 at Milk Studios, Studio #1 with stylist Carine Roitfeld.

Jessica’s future wedding dress. Love how the background contrasts with the dress.

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