Books · Fashion & Beauty

Book Review: “Diana Vreeland: The Modern Woman”

As one of the women she admired, Coco Chanel, said: “ I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little — if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”

N’est-ce pas?

Why would a woman leave destiny to chance when she could theoretically change the course of her own history by simply dressing for the part and then enjoying the ensuing consequences?


I interviewed Mrs. Vreeland in her office at the Metropolitan Museum. I was very nervous, terrified I wouldn’t/couldn’t do justice to fashion journalism’s most compelling woman. At the same time I was thrilled to meet her, to see what she was wearing, listen to her maxims on life and style.

She didn’t disappoint. I suspect she never did. She had those exquisite manners and kindness that comes from being bien-élevé. She was a high point of my career.

It’s lovely for me to think she was part of my destiny and made me love my profession even more.

Perhaps Diana Vreeland: The Modern Woman could change one’s destiny. I think it’s entirely possible.


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  • D. A. Wolf March 28, 2017 at 11:29 am

    This book really sounds too good to pass up. What a wonderful description of a certain “panache” and elegant individualism we think of as so French. And that note from Mrs. Vreeland must be a true treasure.

  • AA March 24, 2017 at 8:06 am

    What an incredible experience! Thanks for sharing with us. DV was fabulous and quirky and believed in change- our kind of woman!