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
review-bg

4.10

1657 Ratings

5

4

3

2

1


Ratings and Reviews From Market


client-img 4.3
70
9
7
6
7
client-img 4
632
611
192
4
0
client-img 4
4
4
2
3
0

Reviews for D.V.:

5

January 7, 2014

There Ain't Enough Stars For This Book!
DV is an autobiography about one of the most influential people of the 20th century. A woman who was born into more tha a little wealth, wearing haute couture as a youngster, from Coco Chanel, herself, while being regarded as an "ugly duckling" by her own mother. She grew up to become one of the world's most alluring women. Her sway over pop culture and fashion, her domineering lust for beauty and her great love for youth and diversity created a template that is unparalleled. She had made the definitive case for fashion, especially haute couture, as an art form. Her sense of rigor, discipline, style, beauty and fantasy are the stuff of which any true culture is made. The true testament of her unerring eye is that everyone she chose to discover are icons of their field, to this day. Every. Single. One. The book is a testament to her taste level. Were she male, scholarships, schools & awards would be executed in her name. However, because she's seen as an "eccentric" and being female, she is not viewed as a true American who has contributed to the taste and status of America, independent of Europe.
As Patrick Swayze's character, Miss Vida Boheme, stated so eloquently in "To Wong Foo:Thanks For Evberything, Julie Newmar", buy it, read it, then, commit sections to memory. Snap!
0

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
3

February 3, 2013

Fashion Meets Forrest Gump
As the former editor of both Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, I thought this book would be filled with lots of career advice and a unique historical perspective on the fashion industry. Instead it is filled with personal stories and so much name dropping the book should come with the warning label "Watch For Falling Names". It is difficult to separate between fact and fiction of the stories. However, I could not help but be swept away by the people, places, and things she discusses. It has a definite Forrest Gump quality to it.

There was one of her fashion philosophies mentioned in the book that was so important that I wrote it down, "A new dress doesn't get you anywhere; it's the life you're living in the dress."

It's a good book to read if you want to be swept away, just like any good novel. Just don't get this book expecting it to be a true account of her life.
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

April 5, 2013

Fabulous!
I am 99% sure that most of this is complete fabrication (polishing the soles of your shoes?) but I don't care. Diana Vreeland was a fashion icon who literally changed the way that fashion was done. From putting ethnic models on the pages of Vogue to championing designers who would become legends, she is responsible for the way fashion is reported today. This book is not only a must-have for lovers of fashion, it's the best ride since "Auntie Mame."
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.
3

October 25, 2013

a busy and fashionable and exciting life...
Diana Vreeland had an extraordinary life and career. Born in Paris, she married an American banker with whom she traveled in America, Europe, and North Africa. She was always interested in people, fashion, and interiors. In 1937 she was invited to join the staff of Harper's Bazaar, where she remained for more than twenty years, and then joined Vogue. After only a few years with Vogue she became a consultant to the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she curated numerous exhibitions about fashion and costume. By then she had long been a legend in her own time, intimate with many celebrities and a "maker" of celebrities herself. And what a character! She was truly one of the doyennes of fashion in America. With her vast experience of life she did not become a writer, and her little book of reminiscences is chatty and full of intimacy, but she was helped along with it by a couple of pros, George Plimpton and Christopher Hemphill. Vaguely chronological, it relates many of her life experiences, one after another. It is not the writing that is good, or the style; it is the variety of experience and the many people and places in her life that give the book its flavor. It is all slightly chaotic, but makes for amusing reading. The point of the little book seems to be to showcase her dramatic and fantastic personality.
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.

5

July 26, 2017

One of the funniest "autobiographies" I've ever read!
I just loved this book - I couldn't stop chuckling - one of the campiest things I've read since all the Patrick Dennis novels. I actually thought it was a straight forward biography, and I purchased it after watching a documentary of her on Amazon Prime, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it much more - after all, if I had wanted straight biography I could read wikipedia!
5

February 18, 2014

My new BFF
Outrageous, colorful, and in no way 100% true, D.V. is an all around fun read! The vignettes of such larger than life characters such as Coco Chanel, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Charles Revson (he always had a look in his eyes), Aly Khan, General de Gaulle, and the rather dizzying array of other 20th century personalities who are given the D.V. treatment are pure fun. The inimitable Mrs. V. addresses the reader as if the two of you are nestled in a comfy corner in her living room, and she's confiding her memoirs, mixed with the advice a favorite aunt would give.

I loved the descriptions of Mrs. V's personal style, from the cheapness of prewar couture, to the Chinese red nail lacquer, to her introduction of the thong sandal to America. I adored it all; the flamboyance, the insouciant commentaries on American hypocrisy, the rather sly way she comments on her dismissal from Vogue. What a personality!

I'm off to search for a lady's maid; some shoes whose soles are worthy of polishing, so I can cross my legs in confidence; and for some silk underclothes in greige. Oh, wait. You say that's not possible in this day and age? No doubt the divine Mrs. V. would find a suitable replacement, and with her trademark style. If only she was still around!
4

February 8, 2014

D.V. -- Redoubtable & Red Hot
It helps greatly to have seen the documentary on Diana Vreeland, because it gets the reader acclimated to her "voice." This is unlike any autobiography I have encountered--unconventional, not exactly chronological, but immensely fascinating. Reading it, you feel as though she is in the room speaking (well, pontificating, really) just to you. Vreeland was exposed to Demimonde Parisian cafe society as a child, so even at a tender age, her level of sophistication rivaled that of most adults. She seems always to have had the great, good sense to be delighted by what was new, ground-breaking and exciting in pop culture--art, artists, fashion, politics, world events. She not only possessed the "eye" but the "ear," as well. She recognized trends while they were barely gestating. The power of her personality comes through on every page. She was larger than life and may perhaps have sucked up all the oxygen in any room in which she held court. But it would no doubt have been quite a heady experience to have been privy to the insight of this amazing, 20th Century icon.
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
5

August 17, 2018

A brilliant and delightful read
This is a true memoire - the recollections of a dynamically original woman whose influence will be felt for years to come. It is not absolutely factual, and no one will care! Diana Vreeland's career is astonishing. I remember seeing the amazing shows that she curated at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum - a great climax to an amazing career. And lest anyone think that fashion is trivial, it is a driving force of the world- which can be positive or negative. This book should be purchased along with Vreeland's documentary "The Eye needs to Travel" - hearing Vreeland's voice is essential.
5

June 15, 2014

Possibly the finest work of its kind. However...
You will either "get" this book, or you won't...with this one I do not see any middle ground.

Each chapter of the book is a memoir on its own, each one very loosely structured, each one heavily studded with dropped names. You know at least some of the names that are dropped, in episodes ranging from finding back plasters for Jack Nicholson, to helping Charles Revson with his nail polish, to finding herself seated next to Josephine Baker (and her cheetah) in a Paris movie house. From that sampling alone you get a sense of the book. It is sort of like a series of evenings listening to a highly successful grandmother hold forth. The stories are fascinating, even as your conscious mind tells you that not all of them can be true. Vreeland is on to this fact, of course, and she drops the veil ever so slightly late in the book and much more fully on its last page. But by then you've either run screaming from the room, or you are so enchanted that you don't care about something as trivial as truth.

Fair warning to anyone looking for much about Vreeland's years at Vogue: she has little to say about them. There are a couple of stories, mainly about her making impossible demands that her staff seemingly found ways to fulfill. But of the magazine, she says flatly, "They fired me", and that in Mme. Vreeland's world seems to be that.

Like all good party guests, she knows when to make an exit, and the book is short...you will probably finish it in one or two readings. You have to like this sort of thing, but if you do, this is as good as it gets. Highly recommended.
2

February 8, 2014

An unreadable book on an unforgettable woman
Like many others, I became interested in this book after watching the documentary, The Eye Has to Travel. Unfortunately, all the material that was so vibrant in that film becomes unreadable in print. While Diana Vreeland may be infinitely quotable, the book is like a poorly rendered transcript. It becomes tiresome to read attempts to capture her style outside of those quotes while still retaining any literary merit. What you are left with is name-dropping and filler and non-linear storytelling that loses its charm without Diana's hearty voice to support it.

Stick to the documentary and interviews with her to fully appreciate this inventive woman.
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

Best Books from your Favorite Authors & Publishers

compare-icon compare-icon
Thousands of books

Take your time and choose the perfect book.

review-icon review-icon
Read Reviews

Read ratings and reviews to make sure you are on the right path.

vendor-icon vendor-icon
Multiple Stores

Check price from multiple stores for a better shopping experience.

gift-icon

Enjoy Result