Pillows injected with perfume, ironed dollar bills and peanut butter sandwiches with scotch for lunch: The extraordinary world of late, great fashion editor Diana VreelandVreeland's life and influence is explored by her granddaughter-in-law, Lisa Immordino Vreeland, in a new documentary filmThe Eye Has To Travel will be released in the U.S. and UK on September 21
20:46 GMT, 17 August 2012
A new feature-length documentary, The Eye Has To Travel, will pay tribute next month to the phenomenal life, work and influence of Diana Vreeland.
But in her research for the long-awaited film, the late, great former editor of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar's granddaughter-in-law, Lisa Immordino Vreeland, unearthed some bizarre and fascinating details.
Among the unlikely facts that she has listed in a new Harper's Bazaar article were that Vreeland would have her dollar bills and tissues ironed before placing them in her handbag.
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Unlikely rituals: Legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland would have her dollar bills and tissues ironed before placing them in her handbag, and had her pillows injected with perfume
Her pillows were injected with perfume using hypodermic needles, and she would have her custom-made shoes shined
for years before she even set foot in them. Those she did wear were also shined daily – and not just the leather, the soles too.
Mrs Immordino Vreeland also reveals
that the British-born editor had a lingerie store in London before she
entered the world of magazines.
'Legend has it that Wallis Simpson
seduced Edward, then Prince of Wales, while wearing one of Diana's
nightgowns,' she writes.
She quoted Vreeland's son Frederick once joking: 'Mom's store brought down the British Empire.'
As for her daily routine, that too
was intriguing: Vreeland rarely left home before noon, and would
regularly work while in the bathtub. Lunch was a peanut butter and
marmalade sandwich with scotch to drink.
'Peanut butter is the greatest invention since Christianity,' she would say.
Fashion legend: Vreeland had a lingerie store in London before she became an editor, and apparently Wallis Simpson seduced Edward, then Prince of Wales, while wearing one of her nightgown designs
Thanks to the stories and anecdotes of her husband, Alexander, brother-in-law and father-in-law, Mrs Immordino Vreeland was afforded unique access and insight into Vreeland's life.
Though she interviewed over 60 people for the documentary, to be released in the U.S. and the UK on September 21, it is the family tales that she most loved to hear.
'Legend has it that Wallis Simpson
seduced Edward while wearing one of Diana's
Lisa Immordino Vreeland, Director, The Eye Has To Travel
'My husband and his brother, Nicholas, shared
wonderful childhood memories of time spent with their “Nonina,”' she revealed.
Vreeland, who died in 1989, has been credited with discovering Twiggy and advised Jackie O on fashion.
The Eye Has to Travel explores her
intriguing early years from a society lady who invented a new profession
– the fashion editor – to her time defining the look of both
Harper’s Bazaar, from 1936 to 1962, and then American Vogue, which she edited for a decade.
Influential: Vreeland advised Jackie Kennedy, pictured in 1962 (left) and discovered supermodel Twiggy (right)
Using Vreeland's distinctive voice, from old TV interviews and soundbites, as the framework
for the film, Mrs Immordino Vreeland uses commentary from
Ali McGraw, who was her assistant at one point at Harper’s Bazaar,
to Anjelica Huston, Anna Sui, Manolo Blahnik, Lauren Hutton and Diana von Furstenberg.
'The bikini is the most important thing since the
Diana Vreeland, 1946
Through their anecdotal stories and first hand experiences about what it was like to
work with the inspiring editor, the lighthearted yet informative documentary creates a series of poignant moments with plenty of fireball quotes.
Vreeland is seen saying, deadpan, during the film: 'You can see the approaching
revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.'
1946, she is seen commenting that 'the bikini is the most important thing since the
atom bomb,' and nearly 40 years later, in 1984, she explained with a
similar seriousness how she saw fashion magazines while she was writing
'What these magazines gave was a point
of view. Most people haven't got a point of view; they need to have it
given to them,' she said.
Early years: The Eye Has to Travel explores her intriguing years as a society lady (pictured with Andy Warhol) who invented a new profession, the fashion editor
Editor extraordinaire: The film also explores her time defining the look of both Harper's Bazaar and then U.S. Vogue, where she profiled celebrities like David Bowie (pictured), Mick Jagger and Edie Sedgwick
Sui says in the film: 'Mrs Vreeland really brought us into a modern
period, and knew that fashion and the world were on their way to
something much more global.'
Huston, who was discovered in the Sixties during Vreeland's helm at
Vogue, adds: 'She made it okay for women to be outlandish and
In her famed 'Why Don't You' column, she once suggested: 'Why
Don't You wash your blond child's hair in dead champagne, as they do in
The documentary's release next month coincides with Vreeland being honoured with a plaque
on the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style.
The legendary editor
is the 19th figure to receive the honour – but the first ever editorial
recipient, and will join fellow honourees Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani, Donatella Versace and Grace Kelly.