The New Diana Vreeland Documentary

In the 1957 film Funny Face, when Kay Thompson struts through the offices of Quality magazine as editor Maggie Prescott, flamboyantly instructing her readers to “Think Pink!”, those in the know knew she was basing her authoritative characterization on Diana Vreeland, the legendary fashion tastemaker then ensconced at Harper’s Bazaar. By 1966, when photographer William Klein directed the madcap French farce Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?, even casual followers of fashion understood that Grayson Hall’s larger-than-life portrayal of Miss Maxwell—complete with imperious pronouncements—was again Mrs. Vreeland, the powerful editor in chief of Vogue. Yes, before Anna Wintour and Miranda Priestly, there was a woman whose influence on 20th-century style was unparalleled. She commissioned work from Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Richard Avedon, discovered models Twiggy and Lauren Hutton, and palled around with everyone from Cecil Beaton and Cole Porter to Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger. All these moods and muses found their way into her pages, and now Vreeland’s story is the subject of The Eye Has to Travel, directed by her granddaughter-in-law, Lisa Immordino Vreeland. To give you a taste of her uncanny wit and wisdom, below are some of her best remembered quotes, as well as the film’s trailer.

“Balenciaga did the most delicious evening clothes. Clothes aren’t delicious any more.”

“Blue jeans are the most beautiful things since the gondola.”

“Elegance is innate. It has nothing to do with being well dressed. Elegance is refusal.”

“I always wear my sweater back-to-front; it is so much more flattering.”

”I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity.”

”No one cuts backs like he did. No one knows what a back is anymore.”

“Pink is the navy blue of India.”

”Poor, darling fellow—he died of food. He was killed by the dinner table.”

”The only real elegance is in the mind; if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it.”