Q&A with Lisa Immordino Vreeland

Q&A with Lisa Immordino Vreeland
Courtesy photo

First published as a book chronicling Diana Vreeland's life through 350 photographs, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is the first film endeavor from Lisa Immordino Vreeland, who is married to Alexander Vreeland, grandson of the late "High Priestess of Fashion." She spoke to the Current about her documentary and the woman behind such famous declarations as "Pink is the navy blue of India" and what some have suggested are the first blogs — sharp and snappy inner-office memos sent to editorial staffers at Vogue.

Do you feel like you've succeeded in reaching younger viewers and letting them get to know Diana?
I think so and this is exactly why I had done it in a sense. The new audience is so excited. I think we all need a little bit of inspiration.

Diane von Fürstenberg suggests in the film that Vreeland was in fact the first blogger.
In some ways Diane von Fürstenberg was totally right. She was blogging in a sense — really short, smart, one-liners. They range from "knee socks are the thing to wear and I want to see them in every picture with a miniskirt" to talking about makeup and freckles. It was smart blogging. And I feel all of this started with her "Why Don't You...?" column. She had such a vision of the future without realizing it. ... She was a rebel in her own way, without consciously wanting to be a rebel.

What about the "ugly little monster" complex? How much do you think that was a driving force? ["I was always her ugly little monster," Vreeland once recalled while speaking of her mother and a childhood marked by statements such as "It's too bad that you have such a beautiful sister and that you are so extremely ugly."]
I think it was a huge force. ... Vreeland always had these kind of hiccups that happened in her life. What happened with her and her mother at a younger age really set her up to be able to put up with all of this and to make her stronger. ... It kind of gave her this stiff upper lip. She never really talked about anything really personal, even with her close friends. It was a non-conversation.

What is your next project?
I am starting to work on Peggy Guggenheim.

Will you be starting with a book?
I don't think so. My agent would love me to do a book, he loved this whole thing of a book and a film, but the fact that I didn't go slowly nuts is a miracle.


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