She discovered Twiggy, advised Jackie O and ruled fashion long before Anna Wintour: How Diana Vreeland was the original Devil Wears PradaThe late U.S. Vogue editor is explored in the first feature-length documentary film devoted to her life and workThe Eye Has to travel will be released on September 21 in New York City and Los Angeles
23:42 GMT, 10 August 2012
Diana Vreeland, who died in 1989, will forever be an unreachable enigma to the fashion world's younger crowd.
The former U.S. Vogue editor, where she held tenure from 1962-1972, ruled the industry before Anna Wintour, discovered Twiggy, advised Jackie O and proclaimed herself as 'the one and only fashion editor.'
Now, in the first feature-length documentary film devoted to her life and work, the late Vreeland comes alive for a generation who never had an opportunity to experience one of the most influential women of the 20th century – even from afar.
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Eye Has To Travel: In the first feature-length documentary film devoted to her life, Diana Vreeland comes alive for a generation who never had the chance to experience one of the most influential women of the 20th century
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.
Using Vreeland's distinctive voice, from old TV interviews and soundbites, as the framework
for the film, director Lisa Immordino 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.
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.
Her story: Through anecdotes and first hand experiences about what it was like to work with the inspiring editor, the documentary creates a series of poignant moments with plenty of fire-ball quotes
Visionary: The former U.S. Vogue editor, where she held tenure from 1962-1972, ruling the industry before Anna Wintour, discovered Twiggy, advised Jackie O and proclaimed herself as 'the one and only fashion editor
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 magazines gave was a point
of view. Most people haven't got a point of view'
'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.
American womenswear designer, Anna
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
Interviews with family members, including her sons Tim and Frecky, and
her grandsons Nicky and Alexander (the husband of the film's director), offer some of the most poignant moments in the film – like watching the reaction
of Vreeland’s great-granddaughter as Ms Immordino reads some of the editor’s 'Why Don’t You' missives from her early years at Harper’s Bazaar
Influential: Vreeland advised Jackie Kennedy, pictured in 1962 (left) and discovered supermodel Twiggy (right)
1937 until her resignation at the magazine, Vreeland ran the column 'Why Don't You'
with suggestions like: 'Why don't you…. Turn your child into an
Infanta for a fancy-dress party'
to Vreeland, 'The one that seemed to cause the most attention was “Why
Don't You wash your blond child's hair in dead champagne, as they do in
She explains how S.J. Perelman wrote a
parody of it for the New Yorker magazine that outraged her then Harper's
Bazaar editor Carmel Snow.
'She really revolutionized social
history… This is not just about fashion, this is a portrait of the
twentieth century,' said the director, Ms Immordino, in an interview
with Vogue Italia.
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
The documentary is set to bring Vreeland's compelling story
to a wider audience, beyond the young fashionistas who until now could
only naively imagine the effect she really had the world's view of fashion.
Ms Immordino added: 'I strongly believe that the legacy Mrs. Vreeland left behind is extremely strong and deep, and goes beyond being a “mere” fashion revolutionary: she really helped change social history and emancipated women.'
Scheduled to be released this fall on September 21, the documentary 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.