DIANA VREELAND MEMOS: THE VOGUE YEARS
by Alexander Vreeland-
Release date: October 14, 2013
Diana Vreeland transformed Vogue from a glossy society magazine into a daring, fresh, and utterly contemporary U.S. fashion publication, and Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue Years will show the reader, in Vreeland’s own words, how she became one of the most influential women in the history of fashion. During Diana Vreeland’s rein as editor in chief of Vogue, from 1962 to 1971, she infused the publication’s pages with her voracious appetite for originality and beauty.
Memos offers an extraordinary compilation of more than 250 pieces of Vreeland’s personal correspondence—most published here for the first time, and personally selected by Vreeland’s grandson, Alexander Vreeland. Her vibrant letters to photographers, including Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Horst P. Horst, Norman Parkinson, and Snowdon, explain the genesis of some of Vogue’s most celebrated stories. Photographs from the magazine illustrate the memos, showing Vreeland’s boundless imagination, prescience, and ability to elicit inspiration when assigning photographers work. While her memos and letters to and about designers—Cristobal Balenciaga, Coco Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino Garavani, Guccio Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Diane von Furstenberg—give the reader an intimate education in fashion.
In addition, each chapter of Memos is introduced by commentary from Vogue editors who worked with Vreeland, giving readers a truly inside look at her unique management style. Vreeland did not believe in meetings, brainstorming, or consensus, electing instead to communicate with her staff, photographers, designers and writers through one-on-one conversations and daily correspondence. At the beginning of each day, Vreeland dictated memos by phone from her Park Avenue apartment. When she arrived at the Vogue office—which was never before noon—she annotated the typed-up results, sometimes adding her initials with a colorful felt-tip pen before the missives were dispatched by one of her assistants.
With Vreeland’s signature irreverence and legendary over-the-top pronouncements, reading her memos and letters becomes a delightful, immersive experience that perfectly explains why her Vogue was as entertaining and innovative as it was serious about fashion, art, travel, beauty, and culture.
Available on Amazon