D.V. Info

Fan Club Reviews of best titles on art fashion, artists, history, photography. Check out our top reviews and see what others have to say about the best art and photography books of the year. Check out D.V. Community Reviews - Find out where to download D.V. available in multiple formats:Paperback,Hardcover,Kindle D.V. Author:Diana Vreeland Formats:Paperback,Hardcover,Kindle Publication Date:Apr 19, 2011


Brilliant, funny, charming, imperious, Diana
Vreeland—the fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and
editor-in-chief of Vogue—was a woman whose passion and
genius for style helped define the world of high fashion for fifty
years. Among her eclectic circle of friends were some of the most
renowned and famous figures of the twentieth century—artists
and princes, movie stars and international legends, including Chanel,
the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Isak Dinesen, Clark Gable, and Swifty
Lazar.

Moving from English palaces to the nightclubs of 1930s
Paris, the wilds of Wyoming to the exclusive venues of New York high
society, D.V. takes readers into this iconic woman's dazzling life,
evoking the luxury and brio of an era that encompassed Josephine Baker,
England's Queen Mary, Buffalo Bill, and Diaghilev.

Vibrant with
the vivid, irresistible voice that elevated every
tÊte-À-tÊte and dinner party, D.V.
brings this renowned and uninhibited raconteur alive, whether recalling
herself as a young girl, her search for the perfect red, her piquant
observations about her world, or her abhorrence for nostalgia. Like her
legacy, Vreeland's story, told in her own words, is a classic to be
celebrated by both loyal admirers and a new generation of culture mavens
and style savants.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for D.V.:

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Feb 13, 2010

I really adored this book. It's not written. Instead, it's rather obvious that the editors, George Plimpton and Christopher Hemphill, just sat down with Mrs. Vreeland and let her talk, and then pretty much transcribed the conversation as it had happened. And, boy, can she talk! A mile a minute is a conservative estimate. You zip through this book because you find yourself reading it as quickly as it was said. And it's full of italics! Vreeland's excitement and enthusiasm for whatever it is she's I really adored this book. It's not written. Instead, it's rather obvious that the editors, George Plimpton and Christopher Hemphill, just sat down with Mrs. Vreeland and let her talk, and then pretty much transcribed the conversation as it had happened. And, boy, can she talk! A mile a minute is a conservative estimate. You zip through this book because you find yourself reading it as quickly as it was said. And it's full of italics! Vreeland's excitement and enthusiasm for whatever it is she's talking about are evident on the page.

What a life she led. Raised in a rawther social family, in London and Paris and New York, she married banker Reed Vreeland at the age of nineteen, and he was clearly the love of her life. She knew everyone, from Josephine Baker to Jacqueline Onassis with the Windsors in between, practically invented red, was fashion editor at Harper's Bazaar for twenty-six years and editor-in-chief at Vogue for eight, and ended her career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.

Remarks like "Unshined shoes are the end of civilization" and the famous "Pink is the navy blue of India" make Vreeland seem superficial. And, indeed, she herself said that she adored artifice. But she was also a very insightful, practical, intelligent and hard-working woman. She rightly says that the books one has read are the way you find out about a person. And although she says, "I stopped reading -- seriously reading -- years ago, she can talk about Tolstoy and kept The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon next to her bed.

If Chanel brought fashion kicking and screaming into the 20th-century, it was Vreeland (who adored and patronized Chanel) who made it part of the life of the woman-on-the-street. ...more
2

Aug 16, 2012

I'd been recommended this book before but only just now got around to reading it since I saw the trailer for "The Eye Has To Travel." I liked "The September Issue" and I planned on seeing this one since I actually like fashion documentaries.

I wanted to rate this book higher, but I just couldn't do it. I read an edition from 1984 and it seemed like in later editions there were some additions to the text. I can see that.

On to the book: It was a slow start on this one. There's no doubt that Diana I'd been recommended this book before but only just now got around to reading it since I saw the trailer for "The Eye Has To Travel." I liked "The September Issue" and I planned on seeing this one since I actually like fashion documentaries.

I wanted to rate this book higher, but I just couldn't do it. I read an edition from 1984 and it seemed like in later editions there were some additions to the text. I can see that.

On to the book: It was a slow start on this one. There's no doubt that Diana Vreeland was one of those big, fashion personalities and that translates into the book. But that doesn't necessarily make for a good book. Interesting, but not good.

I wish the editors, TWO of them, would have taken a firmer hand with the text. Since she is a big personality, maybe they did and this is what they came up with anyway. With that being said, that's the main reason I didn't like the book - its overly conversational style. There needed to be some overarching perspective, more guidance to draw out the stories and keep them focused. Vreeland was born in 1909 or so and died in the late 1980's. That's a lot of the world to see and be involved in, let alone in the fashion industry.

Vreeland tends to ramble in the book. Sometimes her stories go on too long and they don't lead anywhere. Some times she talks like you know exactly who these people she's talking about are. Maybe she couldn't fathom that someone twenty or thirty years later would be interested in reading a book about her? Hell, I wanted to know more about her time at Harper's and Vogue, the Met even. She glosses over that!!! She spent most of her time talking about her early life as a pampered housewife with little to no formal education. I wanted to know how she made the transition from practically do nothing (she had lots of servants- Vreeland noted, I'm paraphrasing, to my disgust that she was prepared to work at Vogue because she knew how to run a house full of servants) to do almost everything kind of person. The Harper's, Vogue and Met stories, as meager as they are, don't come in until the last third of the book or less. Seriously!?!

Another problem I had with the story being told in her own words, was the way she exoticized people of color. I'm a POC and I have a problem with that. It happens way too much in fashion (just this week: Dolce and Gabbana/Victoria's Secret I'm looking at you!).

On the one had Vreeland was born in 1909, but the book came out in '84. It could have said something. Perhaps this has been addressed in later editions. I was ready to throw the book across the room when I read how she described one Italian man's outfit in detail but called him a "wop" like it was nothing. I was burning when she was fawning over Josephine Baker, like drooling over her physical description (it was kind of creepy). But then went on saying "there's a black in the room! There's a black in the room!" UGH! F&*!K you, Vreeland! Also she was known to have a huge collection of blackamoor pieces. She still seems to be ahead of the fashion curve since she was going to try to bring that back in the 80's and Dolce and Gabbana seems to think it's a good idea to use them now on the runway. Give 'em what they didn't know they wanted! Yeah....doesn't always work.

Despite Vreeland getting an F in race relations. She did have some gems, just in time for election season, too. "I know news when I see it! What are we talking about...pleasing the bourgeoisie of North Dakota? We're talking fashion!" I want "pleasing the bourgeoisie of North Dakota" to be used way more often! This is full line, "Actually, I can't stand novels-I don't care what happens to people on paper." That one needs to go into rotation too, "I don't care what happens to people on paper." Although I obviously love reading, unlike her. ...more
5

Sep 28, 2017

A madcap romp through the whirly-gig mind of a madcap fashion diva. Superficial, artificial, and appallingly aristocratic she may be, but Vreeland's high camp persona unfolds on the page as pure comic gold.
1

Aug 16, 2009

I was so excited to read this autobiography since she was a legend in the fashion world and the personal inspiration behind the fashion company I'm currently working for. I stopped reading at about page 50 when it dawned on me that Diana Vreeland was the Paris Hilton of her time. She was a spoiled, pampered, uneducated woman (she never went to high school) who enjoyed shocking people, and had an overly high opinion of her own sparkle. She became famous and powerful purely on the basis of her I was so excited to read this autobiography since she was a legend in the fashion world and the personal inspiration behind the fashion company I'm currently working for. I stopped reading at about page 50 when it dawned on me that Diana Vreeland was the Paris Hilton of her time. She was a spoiled, pampered, uneducated woman (she never went to high school) who enjoyed shocking people, and had an overly high opinion of her own sparkle. She became famous and powerful purely on the basis of her money and family.

Actually, her style reminded me of the autobiography of Elsa Schiaparrelli in the rambling DAH-LING type stream of consciousness. The difference to me was that Schiap actually contributed something original and meaningful to the world of art and fashion. She had a business and felt a responsibility to work. Vreeland..not so much.

...more
5

Sep 13, 2012

This book could not be more charmant! It reads as though Diana is speaking directly to you, and I suspect it was transcribed from conversations with a friend/relative (though I haven't looked it up to confirm yet). It is also written with her inflections, which makes it so easy to "hear" her voice.

Mrs. Vreeland was just so fabulous! Though I am sure many of her stories were embellished, it is for the sake of a good story and therefore completely allowable, as Diana would say. On one page she is This book could not be more charmant! It reads as though Diana is speaking directly to you, and I suspect it was transcribed from conversations with a friend/relative (though I haven't looked it up to confirm yet). It is also written with her inflections, which makes it so easy to "hear" her voice.

Mrs. Vreeland was just so fabulous! Though I am sure many of her stories were embellished, it is for the sake of a good story and therefore completely allowable, as Diana would say. On one page she is chatting with (or gossiping about) some royals, on another she is making a comment to Audrey Hepburn or visiting with Coco Chanel. Her life was unbelievable, and though I don't share all of her points of view, she was so full of sass and pep that I just didn't care. She keeps it light, silly, and ridiculous. Fabulous. ...more
5

Dec 13, 2012

Reads like a conversation. It is a conversation. I loved it- completely- and read it in about 2 days. People who say it is superficial don't get it. She lived a BEAUTIFUL life- was brilliant- and completely understood the art of living well.

3

May 15, 2014

Not really what I was expecting. It isn't a book so much as it is the transcription of interviews. I'd say the "editing" rather than "transcription" if it read like it had been well edited. It doesn't.

Vreeland rambles for 32 chapters and she has some interesting stories but mostly she gossips and indulges in a lot of self-adulation. For someone who held a key position in the fashion industry she sheds remarkably little light on the actual work. Unlike other reviewers, I refuse to react with Not really what I was expecting. It isn't a book so much as it is the transcription of interviews. I'd say the "editing" rather than "transcription" if it read like it had been well edited. It doesn't.

Vreeland rambles for 32 chapters and she has some interesting stories but mostly she gossips and indulges in a lot of self-adulation. For someone who held a key position in the fashion industry she sheds remarkably little light on the actual work. Unlike other reviewers, I refuse to react with cringing horror to her various racial and gender stereotyping that is perfectly in context with her time. I just can't seem to get out of bed for that kind of false indignation anymore. But the lack of real content is unforgivable.

Yes, she can be pithy, but if you let a recorder run for 400 hours you could probably get any dullard to say one or two clever things. It just wasn't enough to justify this book and all of the accolades afforded this book.

Once again, the fashion industry sucker punched me. But you know how it is, fool me once...

I have no one to blame but myself. ...more
2

Sep 26, 2012

this was certainly...well, interesting.

diana vreeland was obviously a one-of-a-kind character, and possessed some whimsical brilliance. however, her privileges offered her an almost maddening sense of obliviousness to the world around her.

example? her comments on WWII were more about how she refuses to talk about politics and about how devastated she was that she couldn't visit paris for five years. there is no acknowledgement of the horrors of the time, nor the lives lost.

while i find the this was certainly...well, interesting.

diana vreeland was obviously a one-of-a-kind character, and possessed some whimsical brilliance. however, her privileges offered her an almost maddening sense of obliviousness to the world around her.

example? her comments on WWII were more about how she refuses to talk about politics and about how devastated she was that she couldn't visit paris for five years. there is no acknowledgement of the horrors of the time, nor the lives lost.

while i find the perspective fascinating (albeit often infuriating), i couldn't relate to her at all, nor did i aspire to be her. while she obviously was a lovable, clever person, i could not get past her lack of intellect, blatant racism, and complete and utter lack of awareness to the world around her.

it wasn't a terrible read, but it certainly was hard to get through. ...more
2

Jan 31, 2008

This book is the literary equivalent of cotton candy...sweet, pretty, completely lacking in substance, and it will make you sick if you ingest too much in one sitting. I find Vreeland to be a fascinating woman but I think she would fare better as the subject of a biography, as opposed to an autobiography. This book isn't really written--it appears to have been lifted from a conversation and transcribed. But it is difficult not to have great fondness for a book with lines like "Lettuce is divine, This book is the literary equivalent of cotton candy...sweet, pretty, completely lacking in substance, and it will make you sick if you ingest too much in one sitting. I find Vreeland to be a fascinating woman but I think she would fare better as the subject of a biography, as opposed to an autobiography. This book isn't really written--it appears to have been lifted from a conversation and transcribed. But it is difficult not to have great fondness for a book with lines like "Lettuce is divine, although I'm not sure it's really food" and "Asparagus should be sexy." ...more
3

Jun 18, 2018

I've been meaning to read this ever since seeing it referenced in To Wong Fu Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar, which is one of my favorite movies ever. I found the first couple dozen pages rather obnoxious, until I adjusted my expectations and unbent enough to enjoy this piece of antiquated, frivolous nonsense. As the author reveals towards the end, many of her charming anecdotes never actually happened; this is a book that's more about capturing a mood and a tone of voice than it is relating I've been meaning to read this ever since seeing it referenced in To Wong Fu Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar, which is one of my favorite movies ever. I found the first couple dozen pages rather obnoxious, until I adjusted my expectations and unbent enough to enjoy this piece of antiquated, frivolous nonsense. As the author reveals towards the end, many of her charming anecdotes never actually happened; this is a book that's more about capturing a mood and a tone of voice than it is relating historical events. ...more
4

Oct 15, 2010

Diana Vreeland has such a wonderful voice and is so amusing. One of the cover blurbs says "D.V. is a champagne party" and that's completely true of my experience of reading it. It's very conversational in tone. Really, her turns of phrase are the reason to read this book. Sure, she may not be telling the utmost truth about her life - and she admits that - but even so she's clearly had an extraordinary one. I particularly loved chapter sixteen where she talks about her love of color.
2

Oct 16, 2012

The editor of vogue during the 1950s and 1960s was influential and worldly. She doesn't come off that way in this rambling memoir. There's a lot of name dropping. It's also a bit frustrating that she lived during some great historical moments and has a very superficial grasp of her eras. It's like reading the memoir of Bertie Wooster or a character from Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies. Her old-fashioned ideas on women and race made for some uncomfortable reading.
5

May 07, 2015

There is absolutely not anything I could say about this book that would be enough. Sparkling, wildly charming, outlandish, bold, captivating... That any such human with such brains and passion and zest ever lived is remarkable. I could happily turn back to page one and read it again and again.

Five stars!
5

Jan 23, 2009

A must read for anyone hoping to develop any sense of style. I have to read it every few years jut to recharge. Diana Vreeland is living proof that one need not be pretty in order to be Glamourous.
4

Feb 10, 2017

I learned that this book was culled from conversations Diana Vreeland had with the author, George Plimpton. It does read like a one-sided conversation or dictation that side-tracks a lot. Nevertheless, it is entertaining. The greatest lesson I learned was that, although born to privilege, she had no formal education and was told frequently by her mother that she was ugly. Despite that, she felt beautiful inside, believed in herself, and embraced every adventure that came her way...and there were I learned that this book was culled from conversations Diana Vreeland had with the author, George Plimpton. It does read like a one-sided conversation or dictation that side-tracks a lot. Nevertheless, it is entertaining. The greatest lesson I learned was that, although born to privilege, she had no formal education and was told frequently by her mother that she was ugly. Despite that, she felt beautiful inside, believed in herself, and embraced every adventure that came her way...and there were many. The woman lived an exceptional, exciting life! ...more
4

Feb 19, 2018

I haven't read a book in so long due to lack of time, which is pretty unfortunate. This was a fun one, and hopefully will help get me back on the reading horse.

Diana Vreeland is a freaking character. She's vain and self-centered and likable and smart and name-drops like it's her job. This felt like a I was having a lunch date with Diana and she rambled on and on, but there was something so endearing about that!

Yes, the egotism seemed to result in extreme exaggeration, insertion of herself into I haven't read a book in so long due to lack of time, which is pretty unfortunate. This was a fun one, and hopefully will help get me back on the reading horse.

Diana Vreeland is a freaking character. She's vain and self-centered and likable and smart and name-drops like it's her job. This felt like a I was having a lunch date with Diana and she rambled on and on, but there was something so endearing about that!

Yes, the egotism seemed to result in extreme exaggeration, insertion of herself into every historic moment ever, and a sort of occasionally frustrating rejection of anything serious. (Like, she wrote about the Nazi's underwear and Hitler's mustache, and that was basically it.)

This was also such grand leap from my world; loved getting an inside scoop into that high society world. A good read, for sure. ...more
4

Sep 12, 2019

What I can say about the DiVine Diana Vreeland that hasn't been said?! But this book... I read an excerpt of it decades ago in Vogue & it's has haunted me since.
It was as I expected, but even more so. It's almost a fin-de-siecle book... overwhelming with the force of the author's personality.
There are parts that are beyond recherche, to the point of reactionary. Hers was a very rarified, privileged world. At least, that's how I see it, 35 years after first being exposed to it, and having What I can say about the DiVine Diana Vreeland that hasn't been said?! But this book... I read an excerpt of it decades ago in Vogue & it's has haunted me since.
It was as I expected, but even more so. It's almost a fin-de-siecle book... overwhelming with the force of the author's personality.
There are parts that are beyond recherche, to the point of reactionary. Hers was a very rarified, privileged world. At least, that's how I see it, 35 years after first being exposed to it, and having learned a bit since the mid-80's.
Still breathless, and no one interested in fashion and style should ignore this memoir. ...more
3

Sep 07, 2017

I feel very conflicted about this memoir. There were parts I found entertaining to read and parts that made me cringe. The greatness and the horribleness of it all thus average out to 3 stars.

First the good. Diana was born at the turn of the twentieth century and "wrote" (i.e. her conversations with the editors were transcribed) this memoir in the mid-eighties so she covered a lot of fascinating ground. I find pretty much any life that spans the twentieth century to be an interesting one in the I feel very conflicted about this memoir. There were parts I found entertaining to read and parts that made me cringe. The greatness and the horribleness of it all thus average out to 3 stars.

First the good. Diana was born at the turn of the twentieth century and "wrote" (i.e. her conversations with the editors were transcribed) this memoir in the mid-eighties so she covered a lot of fascinating ground. I find pretty much any life that spans the twentieth century to be an interesting one in the sense that the person experienced so much profound change in society from youth to old age. The leap from Edwardian England to Reagan's America in the 80's is a large one. A life in that period becomes even more worth reading about when the person encounters so many notable figures in politics, in society & in the arts: dance, theater, art, fashion, literature. Vreeland led a charmed life in high society and has the stories to show for it.

Of course, the majority of this slim memoir consists of name dropping the likes of which you have rarely encountered, if at all. I consider myself fairly well versed in the era and society she writes of but I still had to keep my phone nearby while I was reading so I could google people and places. I wish the editors had actually done some work and created an index the reader could refer to every time Ms Vreeland tossed out a name or a French phrase or an obscure location. I ended up rather enjoying all my detours to google - I learned a lot of pointless but entertaining facts. Did you know, for instance, that the street the Vreeland lived on in London in the 20's and 30's(Hanover Terrace) recently had a house go on the market - in 2013 - for a mere 45 million dollars? The back yard garden is half an acre. In central London! Wow. That little factoid helped me understand just what kind of wealth she was a part of. Obviously all that jet setting around the world, and designer clothes and jewels and servants etc stem from great wealth, but she never explicitly mentions it.

It doesn't make me angry, reading about her privileged life, the way some reviewers here on Goodreads are. Not sure what they were expecting in the first place. She became famous for her family, her connections, her wealth, her friendships with notable people, her connections with high society etc. and that's what she wrote about. She lived in such a bubble; it was surreal at times to read about her life experiences.

The downside to the bubble she existed in was that throughout the book she threw out some real zingers. It was all very racist grandma at times. I think like 3 or 4 pages into the book, she is describing a room in her Hanover terrace mansion and mentions the yellow on the wall was like the yellow on a chinaman's face. WHOA..... WHAT? Then later on she rhapsodizes about some "blackamoor" jewelry she loved wearing in the 30's & 40's. Blackamoor is akin to describing a black person as a jigaboo or darky. EEEK. That segues into an uncomfortable few paragraphs all about how exotic and beautiful the black race is. She is not racist grandma in the sense that she is supporting the KKK and using the N word but racist grandma in the sense she is treating an entire race of people as a fetching trend or accessory. Sometimes she did just flat out say racist stuff like calling an Italian a wop. That was a jarring word to read in the middle of her cutesy story about her husband's bootlegger in the 1920's. I kept waiting for her to describe someone as being "a real jew" when acting stingy. She mentions how men are superior to women and that no woman has every contributed anything worthwhile in the arts. Um, ok. That is just so patently wrong it's absurd. Interesting to note that is how she felt, though. Several times she describes people as peasants and not in a humorous or joking way. I guess that is better than describing them as white trash?

I think this book appeals to a very narrow group of people. There are the fashion groupies who will love it just because it's from Diana Vreeland. There are people interested in Western high society of that period who will appreciate the stories she can tell about certain parties and hotels and restaurants. I guess I fall somewhat into that latter camp? The poor editing and the casual racism really weaken my enjoyment of the book, though. ...more
2

Jun 17, 2015

Here's how you read this book: you wait for an evening where you don't have much going on, put on a nice outfit, get a glass of cool champagne and read it in one sitting. It probably helps if you have some Cole Porter or something on the background. What I'm trying to say is, you need atmosphere.

Why would you need all that to read a book? Well D.V. is a kind of autobiography - but really it's EXACTLY like you're at a party with Diana Vreeland, and she's talking and talking about her life (and no Here's how you read this book: you wait for an evening where you don't have much going on, put on a nice outfit, get a glass of cool champagne and read it in one sitting. It probably helps if you have some Cole Porter or something on the background. What I'm trying to say is, you need atmosphere.

Why would you need all that to read a book? Well D.V. is a kind of autobiography - but really it's EXACTLY like you're at a party with Diana Vreeland, and she's talking and talking about her life (and no one gets a single word in!). And you wouldn't want to be at a party with Diana Vreeland and not look your best.

Of course, because we're at a party, you have to keep the stories interesting. She's had quite the life, so she had plenty of them (about herself and about other people), but she also made up some and embellished others, as one does when you want to captivate the audience. And it's not polite to talk about personal tragedies or sad events in general, or you'd bring down the mood of the guests.

Well, Diana was a force of nature, a true original, and of course it's fascinating to hear what she has to say - everything about her is over the top. But it does get a bit tiresome to be in a one-sided conversation all the time, and while the shallow and sparkly kind of talk does brilliantly at a party, it can make a book feel a little flat after a while, because you know you aren't getting beneath the surface of the story.

In any case, I would recommend it for people who are interested in fashion or society - Diana made more of an impact on your life than you probably know. Perhaps before picking this up, if you aren't the sort of person who knows exactly who she was, and who can name the main society women of the XX century, you might want to watch the documentary D.V. and read the book The Power of Style (Tapert & Edkins).

If you are doing the Kitty Pong Reading Challenge, D.V. is part of it, but you have to follow the reading order, and The Power of Style comes before it, exactly because it explains who a lot of the people who are mentioned here are (with gorgeous photographs to boot). ...more
4

Jun 24, 2014

This book was a hoot as long as you remember that Diana Vreeland was definitely brought up privileged in a bygone era. She admits to being as far from a feminist as possible - “I believe women are naturally dependent on men. One admires and expects things from men that one doesn’t expect from women, and such has been the history of the world. The beauty of painting, of literature, of music, of love…this is what men have given to the world, not women. As you can tell, you’re not exactly talking This book was a hoot as long as you remember that Diana Vreeland was definitely brought up privileged in a bygone era. She admits to being as far from a feminist as possible - “I believe women are naturally dependent on men. One admires and expects things from men that one doesn’t expect from women, and such has been the history of the world. The beauty of painting, of literature, of music, of love…this is what men have given to the world, not women. As you can tell, you’re not exactly talking to a feminist. I stand with the French line––women and children last. ”

She makes outrageous statements and is oh so politically incorrect. This book was published in 1984 - the middle of the Reagan era. She wrote as I imagine she must have spoken - everything is "too much!" Ms. Vreeland describes the women of high society slipping out of their chairs as they swoon at a Balenciaga runway, putting a back plaster on Jack Nicholson in the lobby of a London restaurant. She also states she and her sister were taken to the Louvre every Wednesday when they were young and spent hours looking at the Mona Lisa. Apparently no one fact checked this book because she claims she and her sister were also two of the last people to see the Mona Lisa before it was stolen on August 21, 1911. (It was stolen on a Monday...)

Ms. Vreeland makes many claims that may or may not be true, but this book is so incredibly entertaining! My only complaint is that it begged for pictures...

I leave you with one of my favorite bits from the book - “I can’t stand the vulgarity of a woman who makes a noise when she walks. It’s all right for soldiers, but when I was growing up the quintessence of breeding in a lady was a quiet footstep. Well, it is to me still. Do you know that I let a brilliant worker go at Vogue because of the way she walked––the clank of those heels. ..It is a form of anger if you can’t control the foot. I promise you, the heavy tread is a form of anger.”

I don't think I'm angry (much), but I do have a heavy tread. ...more
0

Dec 16, 2010

Reading Vreeland’s autobiography is like chasing a butterfly – enchanting, delightful, and sometimes exasperating. The former fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar and editor in chief of Vogue dances from tale to tale with little organization, amusing readers with endless celebrity encounters, dramatic adventures (involving murder, zebras, and fistfights), and emphatic opinions on matters of style. In D.V., Vreeland is more interested in entertaining than she is with providing deep thought or even Reading Vreeland’s autobiography is like chasing a butterfly – enchanting, delightful, and sometimes exasperating. The former fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar and editor in chief of Vogue dances from tale to tale with little organization, amusing readers with endless celebrity encounters, dramatic adventures (involving murder, zebras, and fistfights), and emphatic opinions on matters of style. In D.V., Vreeland is more interested in entertaining than she is with providing deep thought or even actual facts. Her self-proclaimed penchant for exaggeration makes her at times a difficult narrator to trust. However, the embellishments feel less like deceit than they do a devotion to the extravagance and self-inventon with which she approached not only style, but the vision she had of her own life. Musing, “Fashion must be the most intoxicating release from the banality of the world,” D.V. illustrates that self-image in all forms is open to interpretation and creation. (reviewed by Hailey Siracky) ...more
3

Apr 06, 2012

"I loath nostalgia." My first quote of this book. I knew mrs.V from reading the fashion photography book "is that what it's called?" ALLURE. I was Allured by the way she picked, and presented and paired the photos with her gossipy-comments/Stories/Tales! Yes, mrs.V does sound like a woman who have lived a full and magnificent past so she can gossip about it in the future. Not go back. Not miss what was and what have been. But only, so she can talk endlessly about it. I am one for living "I loath nostalgia." My first quote of this book. I knew mrs.V from reading the fashion photography book "is that what it's called?" ALLURE. I was Allured by the way she picked, and presented and paired the photos with her gossipy-comments/Stories/Tales! Yes, mrs.V does sound like a woman who have lived a full and magnificent past so she can gossip about it in the future. Not go back. Not miss what was and what have been. But only, so she can talk endlessly about it. I am one for living something I can mention in the future. And I felt a little envy of the gorgeous adventurous life she was leading/talking about in the book, from the first pages, until chapter Twenty Five, "Now I exaggerate-always. And, of course, I'm terrible on facts. But a good story... Some of the details... Are in the imagination. I don't call this lying.". The book was still enjoyable to the end, but it became a thrilling and lovely fiction rather than a guid to extravagance.

Still, the history, the geography, the gossip is extremely charming, inspiring and captivating. ...more
1

Feb 12, 2017

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Advertised as the autobiography of someone who led a fascinating life. But she admits in the middle that she likes to exaggerate, and admits at the end that she made some of the stories up. I prefer my fiction and nonfiction to be clearly delineated. For "nonfiction" this self-indulgent, I want it all to be true. This was a quick read about/by someone who led a charmed life. I'm probably not part of the target audience, having no interest in fashion - but I was interested to see a bit through Advertised as the autobiography of someone who led a fascinating life. But she admits in the middle that she likes to exaggerate, and admits at the end that she made some of the stories up. I prefer my fiction and nonfiction to be clearly delineated. For "nonfiction" this self-indulgent, I want it all to be true. This was a quick read about/by someone who led a charmed life. I'm probably not part of the target audience, having no interest in fashion - but I was interested to see a bit through the eyes of someone who lived in the stratosphere of society. Awkward undertones of prejudice, though maybe she was being humorous and I just didn't catch it.

Will avoid books of this nature in the future, and seek out either pure fiction or pure historical nonfiction. For someone who lived through such interesting times, Diana Vreeland didn't seem affected by any of it - and as a result the book came across as shallow and snobbish. ...more
2

Jul 19, 2013

This is a tough book to rate and describe.

In some ways, it's a fascinating look into the mind and world of the ultra-privileged in the early and mid-20th century. If you can continue to look at it through that lens, the book is fun, interesting, and humorous. However, for me, that facade started to slip when she spoke about WWII...not only did she basically skip over talking about it, the only thing she chose to share were her feelings on being away from Paris and Parisian fashion for so long.

This is a tough book to rate and describe.

In some ways, it's a fascinating look into the mind and world of the ultra-privileged in the early and mid-20th century. If you can continue to look at it through that lens, the book is fun, interesting, and humorous. However, for me, that facade started to slip when she spoke about WWII...not only did she basically skip over talking about it, the only thing she chose to share were her feelings on being away from Paris and Parisian fashion for so long.

The book and the woman are thoroughly vapid, and any of its charm gets lost in the end. Even though she is obviously more classy and better educated than, say, a Paris Hilton, that comparison seems apt. "What is Iraq? I can't bother because I'm too busy buying shoes and hanging out with other rich people." ...more
2

Aug 19, 2018

Wild! This is a really quick read because it is written very conversationally. Diana Vreeland is quite the character. In truth, I believe if I had known her in real life, I would not have been able to keep up with her. She seems somewhat of an exhausting personality. However, I imagine in the field of fashion, you sort of have to have that personality.

She opens the book by saying she hates nostalgia, but by the way she talks about all of her experiences, you can’t help but think she’s either Wild! This is a really quick read because it is written very conversationally. Diana Vreeland is quite the character. In truth, I believe if I had known her in real life, I would not have been able to keep up with her. She seems somewhat of an exhausting personality. However, I imagine in the field of fashion, you sort of have to have that personality.

She opens the book by saying she hates nostalgia, but by the way she talks about all of her experiences, you can’t help but think she’s either joking or in denial. This is most certainly an autobiography of sorts, but definitely not in chronological order. It was interesting to peek into the past, but she just comes off as wildly eccentric and extravagant. ...more

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