Empress of Fashion: The Life of Diana Vreeland

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9780062223289: Empress of Fashion: The Life of Diana Vreeland

Diane von Furstenberg once called Diana Vreeland a "beacon of fashion for the twentieth century." Now, in this definitive biography by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart, is the story of the iconic fashion editor as you've never seen her before. From her career at the helms of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, to her reign as consultant to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vreeland had an enormous impact on the fashion world and left a legacy so enduring that must-have style guides still quote her often wild and always relevant fashion pronouncements.

With access to Vreeland's personal material and photographs, critically acclaimed biographer Amanda Mackenzie Stuart has written the ultimate behind-the-scenes look at Diana Vreeland and her world—a jet-setting social scene that included Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta, Lauren Bacall, Penelope Tree, Lauren Hutton, Andy Warhol, Mick and Bianca Jagger, and the Kennedys. Filled with gorgeous color photographs of her work, Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland is an elegant and fascinating account of one of the most revered tastemakers of the 20th century.

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Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2012: In several ways, Empress of Fashion is much like the woman it covers. Like Diana Vreeland (1903–1989)--the imperious, transformative editor of Vogue magazine, then the creator of the Costume Institute at New York’s Metropolitan Museum--British journalist Amanda Mackenzie Stuart’s biography lasts a long time. And while it isn’t always traditionally well formed, it is far deeper, smarter, and more important than it first appears. Who was Diana Vreeland? An arbiter of beauty who, by just about everyone’s admission, was not beautiful; a working woman before it was fashionable; a fiercely independent soul with an overriding, lifelong, bourgeois concern about money. And while Mackenzie Stuart might tread a tiny bit too heavily into the Freudian--Vreeland constantly tried to prove herself to her neglectful and often nasty mother, even years after the older woman's death--her deep research into everything from Vreeland’s childhood diaries to her social life (shimmying at Studio 54 in her 80s!) makes this bio, which has the approval of Vreeland’s estate, nothing short of--as Mrs. Vreeland herself might say--“divine.” --Sara Nelson

From the Back Cover:

Vreeland personified twentieth-century American couture and helped transform modern culture. As the innovative fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and the legendary editor-in-chief of Vogue during the tumultuous 1960s, she redefined women's sense of beauty and style, provoking and challenging accepted ideas in the fashion world and leaving a legacy that resonates today. From Seventh Avenue to leopard print scarves to her red lacquered office, Diana (pronounced DEE-ana, as she demanded) made American fashion relevant. She launched the careers of such luminous beauties as Lauren Bacall, Penelope Tree, and Lauren Hutton, and she knew everyone, including Coco Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Salvador Dali, Swifty Lazar, Truman Capote, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the Kennedys, Andy Warhol, Jack Nicholson, and Mick Jagger. Nearly twenty-five years after her death, this icon of style's influence is more prevalent than ever.

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