Diana Vreeland was a groundbreaking editor, fashion legend and inveterate tastemaker. She worked as an editor with Harper’s Bazaar and spent 20 years there before switching over to become the editor of Vogue, and ended her career as a curator and consultant at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Think of her as Anna Wintour before Anna Wintour.
In her time, Vreeland was basically at the center of the socialite universe — dressed by Chanel and Balenciaga; friends with everyone from Jack Nicholson to Cole Porter to Wallis Simpson and Jackie Kennedy; privy to an audience with the King of England. She traveled extensively, which is where she picked up a lot of her favorite style inspirations including thong sandals (which didn’t exist in the West until she brought them over from Tunisia) and animal prints. She wasn’t considered conventionally beautiful — in fact, her mother once scathingly told her, “It’s too bad that you have such a beautiful sister and that you are so extremely ugly and so terribly jealous of her.” She also, clearly, had a terrible mother.
Vreeland had a reputation for being tough to work with, but her vision was strong and her influence widespread. She helped launch the careers of models like Twiggy, Edie Sedgwick and Cher, and photographer Richard Avedon (of whom she misnamed “Aberdeen”). She was smart––and she got results, transforming Vogue into a high-fashion thinking woman’s magazine.
She was also really witty. You know that common turn of phrase, “_____ is the new ____?” She invented that. Her 1984 memoir DV is filled with witty bon mots, hilarious turns of phrase and moments of genius. After the jump, 22 of our favorite Vreeland quotes. Keep reading »
We know that some models pursue dangerous measures in the hopes they will join the cadre of elites. We know that being a top model means million-dollar contracts and the key that unzips Leonardo DiCaprio’s pants. And we also know that many modeling agencies are all too happy to exploit preteen and teen girls, putting their sexual, mental and physical health at risk in pursuit of big bucks and prestige. Agencies get a cut of the money, after all. The 2012 documentary “Girl Model” (which is screening on Netflix now — go watch it!) pulled back the curtain on the lack of protections for underage models, especially ones who have traveled from faraway foreign countries, alone, don’t speak English or know their rights — like, say, you shouldn’t have to suck anyone’s dick to get a gig.
This week, New York’s state legislature took a step in the right direction by passing a bill that will give models under age 18 the same legal protections as child actors and other young performers. The laws would apply to both print and runway models. Keep reading »
Man, they’ll really hand out these Vogue covers to just about anyone these days. It’s not like Anna Wintour hasn’t put an actual model on there in eons, or anything. Katy Perry is the latest pop star of dubious cultural significance to land the coveted spot, featuring what I feel like is a fairly awkward shot of her crouched on the grass in a Rodarte floral dress and bold red lip. It’s pretty, but, like, kind of BORING? They couldn’t think of anything better to do with a woman who has shot whipped cream out of her tits onstage than have her look wistful and Arthurian in a field? Weird. (Weirder: the headline in the bottom right corner.) [Fashionista] [Photo: VOGUE]
You might have been sitting at your desk at work wondering to yourself, “Hmm, I wonder if it’s a good idea now for fashion magazines to hire Caucasian fashion models and smear their faces in blackface paint.” I am here now to put your mind at ease. No, it’s still not a good idea. You got that, Vogue Netherlands?
The magazine’s May 2013 issue depicted light-skinned, Dutch model Querelle Jansen wearing a dark black face as she poses in homage to dancer Josephine Baker (right) and model/actress Grace Jones (left). (Both were inspirations to Marc Jacobs’ Louis Vuitton collections, fall 2008 and spring 2009 respectively.) Yet instead of hiring actual, you know, black models, the magazine used a white model in blackface.
Vogue realizes that actual black models do work in the fashion industry, right? It’s not like they are unicorns. [Clutch Magazine]
These photo of notoriously purse-lipped Anna Wintour laughing and smiling while walking around Milan are making me giddy with glee. It’s like in high school when you work so hard all year to make your stone-faced digital media teacher show any sign of emotion, and after 8 months of effort, you make a random MS Paint animation of your best friend’s leg falling off, and when you present it to the class he cracks a tiny little smile, and you’re like, “Yes! My work here is done,” and then you stop trying in class and end up getting a B-. Or was that just me? Anyway, Anna looks happy and stylish and generally awesome. My work here is done. [Photo: Fame/Flynet]