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25 April 2012

Guest Blogger: Vogue's Naomi Smart

For lovers of fashion, Diana Vreeland was known as the 'Empress of Fashion' and a leading light in the pool of modern icons. Once Editor of Harper's Bazaar (from 1936 to 1962) and American Vogue (1962 to 1972) her personality and raw talent were mind-blowingly fabulous. Now her life and work have been cemented into a documentary film, 'Diana Vreeland: The eye Has to Travel', directed by her granddaughter, Lisa Immordino Vreeland.

I was lucky enough to be invited to a private screening of the film and was totally inspired by her true greatness. Her distinctive voice, her creativity, her totally unique personality - there really was only one Diana Vreeland! It seems everything that pops out of her mouth is a an amusing quotable phrase, here is just one, 'The bikini is the biggest thing since the atom bomb.' And below is her clip talking about freedom of surfing... her voice is just amazing, I could listen to her for hours.

Her 'Why don't you?' feature made famous in the pages of Harper's Bazaar was an inspiration to my own teen zine for girls in 2009 (YOU ARE A COOL COOL KID). I gave simple instructions of 'Why don't you learn how to do a French Plait?', in the idea that I wanted to teach the readers how do something rather than just tell them to wear this season's shade of blue.

She was also the inspiration for the Fashion Editor character in Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn. A real gem of a movie and one you must watch. One of my favourite quotes from this film is, '"A magazine must be like a human being. If it comes into the home it must contribute. It can't just lie around. A magazine must have...blood and brains and pizazz." I'm sure Diana would have agreed.


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