Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Passion for Fashion - Diana Vreeland

If I was going on a robbing spree like the Bling Ring, Diana Vreeland‘s would be near the top of the list. And now her wardrobe is going up for auction on June 25.

The legendary editor of Harpers Bazaar and Vogue was known for her amazing style and inducted to the hall of fame of the International Best-Dressed List for her lifetime contributions to the art of dressing like an absolute legend. Vreeland edited the American edition of Harper's Bazaar for 26 years from 1936 before taking the editor's chair at US Vogue for a decade in 1963. An extravagant taste-maker, whilst at style bible Harper's Bazaar she penned a column entitled 'Why Don't You', in which she once famously suggested: "Why don't you wash your child's hair in champagne, to make it blonder".  I haven't tried this myself but do let me know if you have!

Later this month a group of her clothes and accessories are being sold by Kerry Taylor Auctions, a specialist in antique fashion and textiles. The house writes:

One of the most interesting collections is a group of clothes and accessories that originally belonged to the great doyenne of vintage fashion – Diana Vreeland. Her smart navy YSL pea-coat bears the discreet ribbon of the Legion d’Honneur on the collar – an honour bestowed upon by the French State for her services to fashion, something she was immensely proud of. 

The auction guide reveals that when she received the news of the award she sent a telegram to her son Frederic, who was then a diplomat with the US embassy in Paris, writing: 'darling, buy me five yards of that ribbon'; only a centimetre was actually needed. The item is valued at £700-£1,000.

Also by Saint Laurent is a couture jewelled velvet evening ensemble specially commissioned for her to wear at the Metropolitan Museum’s ‘Royal India’ exhibition opening in 1985. Cecil Beaton painted Vreeland with her favourite art-deco cigarette holder which is included in the sale. The 'Passion for Fashion' lot also features a custom-made dress by Alexander McQueen for the late Isabella Blow.

The Vreeland collection was donated by a friend of the late editor, who had inherited some of the clothes after her death in 1989. Among the more interesting pieces on the block at the Diana Vreeland auction on the 25th is the director’s chair she used in her office at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, which has her signature DV emblazoned across the back in bright red - I've definitely got my eye on it!

To start fantasy shopping for some truly incredible fashion lots - here is the auction catalogue! Good Luck!x

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