Diana Vreeland: Pink, Red & Tangerine Dreams

"There's only one very good life, and that's the life you want, and you make it yourself". 
Diana Vreeland

Before Anna Wintour, before Grace Coddington, even before Anna Piaggi (who sadly passed away 2 days ago), there was another extraordinarily creative and ever-so-slightly eccentric talent who put her own exclamation mark on the fashion world. She died 23 years ago this month, but her name still invokes respect among the fashion cognoscenti. She was Diana Vreeland.

The great photographer Richard Avedon once said of DV: "She was and remains the only genius fashion editor". I would argue that Grace Coddington is up there as well, but yes, Diana Vreeland commands her own spot on the dais. She began her career as a columnist and a fashion editor for Harper's Bazaar, and rose through the sartorial ranks to eventually land the top job: editor-in-chief of US Vogue, which she ran from 1963 until 1971. Her influence was legendary. She even advised Jackie Kennedy on her wardrobe during the Presidential campaign. She was also close to Coco Chanel and perhaps fired off more witty bon mots than the latter did. When the Vreelands moved to a new apartment, which was decorated by Billy Baldwin in bold, blood red, their parties became legendary and included the likes of C.Z. Guest Cole Porter and of course Cecil Beaton, who would never miss a DV soiree. In 1957, Paramount decided to make a musical, Funny Face, featuring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, which has since become a cinema classic. They based the magazine editor character of Maggie Prescott on Diana Vreeland.

Her biography, D.V. which she wrote in her later years, remains one of the wittiest, funniest, most interesting memoirs I've ever read – although I'm not sure how much is embellished and how much is truth? I suspect more of it is truth than creativity. Diana Vreeland always did lead an extraordinary life.

Next month, the life of Miss Diana will be again highlighted in a new documentary, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel. It's the first feature-length documentary on her life and work. The documentary features taped recordings of Diana Vreeland, as well as interviews with Ali McGraw, Anjelica Huston, Manolo Blahnik, David Bailey, Diana von Furstenberg and various Vreeland family members. It's released in cinemas on September 21, although check for Australian dates. The official trailer is here: here. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=HP3wsNdANhM)

And here, in tribute to DV, is a little post on her favourite shades: red, hot pink and tangerine. (Even her nurse as a child was called 'Pink'.) DV, we still miss you.

Fashion journalist Anna Piaggi, who sadly passed away 2 days ago. One of the greats.

A glimpse of Blair Waldorf in an Oscar de la Renta frock, who, like Diana, has never been shy of colour.

The uplifting interior of Ann Lewis, recently featured in Australian Vogue Living online's files.

Two photographs by architectural photographer Robert Polidori. I've just discovered Mr Polidori. His images of Versailles are astonishing. And his Cuba photographs are even more beautiful. Diana would have loved him too, I think. She liked photographers who think outside the lines.

The now-famous red-and-pink room by designer Miles Redd, whose name is as memorable as his interiors.

Not sure of the source of this stunning library, but I just adore it. The citrus sofa, orange cushions and pink print are all unexpected, and utterly gorgeous.

A wall of my study. Not quite as glamorous as the tangerine and citrus room above! But hopefully mine will look as well stocked as the above space one day.

Memories from Angelina in Paris, 2011. (I bought this just so I could photograph it. I loved the colours so much I couldn't bare to take a bite.)

A pink door, photographed on the same trip to Paris. Only in Paris!

Not sure of the source of this moodboard. {Please contact me if you know and I'll credit immediately.} Look at the polka-dot pink and tangerine parcels. What a great little gift to give to guests when they leave.

Manuel Canovas' beautiful 'Bengale' fabric, via Faux Fuchsia. Doesn't this remind you of India? Diana would have loved this print. She was a fan of India's bold shades.

A favourite cover from Conde Nast Traveller magazine. The dress is by Bottega Veneta.

A gorgeous frock from Tigi New York. I may be heading to the Bahamas this New Year's Eve for work. This would be the perfect thing for the Junkanoo parade and fireworks over the beach. Look at the pink underslip. So lovely. (I'd never heard of Tigi until I saw this dress. Must get out more!)

A clip from Sambag's SS12 Collection. Love the quirky hat as much as the dress. It reminds me of a lovely old vintage bathing cap.

A corner of our cluttered spare room: hot pink-and-tangerine taffeta curtains, pink beach umbrella, tangerine ottoman and pink fabric leftovers. I love the reflections of the trims here on a sunny day.

One of my favourite stores in the Canal St Martin part of Paris. The colours in this store are so bold, it's as if a couple of paint tins exploded. But it's so fabulous, you can't help but smile when you walk in.

And at the other end of the aesthetic spectrum (less funky; more sophisticated) is the Hotel Pantheon in Paris, one of my favourite places to stay. (Tip: Ask for the pink-and-red rooms that overlook the Pantheon. They're quintessentially Parisian, and some of the prettiest in Paris.)

And lastly, some peonies from the streetmarket in the Bastille part of Paris. You can't go to Paris without buying a tiny bouquet of hot pink flowers...

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