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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  919 ratings  ·  131 reviews
As fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and editor-in-chief of Vogue, Diana Vreeland-and her passion, charm, insouciance, and genius for style--energized and inspired the fashion world for fifty years. In this glittering autobiography she takes us around the world with her, revealing her obsession with fashion high and low--pink plastic poodles, for example--and dropping time ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published May 8th 2003 by Da Capo Press (first published 1984)
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Community Reviews

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Feb 13, 2010 Joan added it
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 ...more
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
Meredith  Baird
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.

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.
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.
Andrea Wahle
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 t ...more
WORN Fashion Journal
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 a ...more
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 V
Tizz Wall
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 pe
Aug 24, 2009 Emily rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
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 mon ...more
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!
David Jay
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, ...more
If I ever have to write my autobiography, I hope that it is 1/10th as brilliant as this one. From page one, Ms. Vreeland engages you with her personality and takes you for a wild ride filled with tall tales through Paris, New York, London, Germany, and Russia. You can tell that she was the life of the party and this reads as if she were sitting down with you in a tete-a-tete, her closest confidant, telling you about her life. Yes, the popular girl is talking to you at the party and you simply ca ...more
Eccentric kook and former Vogue fashion editor Diana Vreeland makes devil-in-Prada Anna Wintour seem like the boring girl next door. Vreeland is a great storyteller, and the book is filled with glamour and exoticism, though the vapidity of it can begin to wear you down after a while (her completely naive, self-centered account of WWII was rather shocking, for instance). Still an enjoyable read, if only for such priceless--and sometimes ridiculous--bon mots as "Lettuce is divine, although I'm not ...more
It was fascinating to read about Diana Vreeland's life because it was so glamorous and international. It was interesting to hear her point of view on various topics -- not only fashion, but also relationships, health, careers, etc. She was certainly a unique person, and a creative genius. The book itself is very random, as it just jumps from story to story. She is basically sharing memories and her opinions, there is absolutely no plot or chronology. It's an easy read, and her writing style is v ...more
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.
Like sitting down for an afternoon, talking with your grandmother about her life... if your grandmother were a legendary fashion editor who knew practically every of the most renowned and famous figures of the twentieth century -- Chanel, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Isak Dinesen, Clark Gable, Swifty Lazar, Josephine Baker, Queen Mary, Buffalo Bill, Diaghilev. She is brilliant, funny and charmingly imperious, but not at all "catty." One of my favorite quotes from her book -- "The first rule ...more
It took me awhile in the beginning because I was not sure if her privileged attitude was going to irk me or not. She was born rich, married rich and her commentary about the affluent lifestyle she obviously enjoyed to the hilt was coming off as snobby at first, because the book is written as if she is in the room speaking directly to you I first wondered if this read was really for me. I pushed past it because I always wanted to know what she actually did at Vogue as their editor in chief. This ...more
May 31, 2014 Zelda rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 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 cri
Amazing book!! Amazing woman!! Full of delicious quotes and name dropping. Very "dishy", you know, giving the scoop on all sorts of famous-name people. I bought this as a gift for some one I knew would love it, and of course had to read it before giving away.
Betty Davidson
I saw the documentary on Diana Vreeland and was captivated. She was brilliant, visionary, original and iconic in the world of fashion and the life as well. See the documentary - D.V. The Eye Has to Travel if you get a chance.
The part of me that wishes I was fabulously wealthy and loves frivious clothing LOVED this book
It's so clear that "Mrs. Vreeland" is often full of shit, and she eventually acknowledges as much in the end, but what dazzling shit she came up with. It seems that she occupied her own world and shared it in a way that managed to set trends and discover some of the most stylish people of the day. I wish she had said more about the ins and outs of working at Harper's and Vogue, but perhaps that was much too mundane for her, especially when she had such great yarns to spin. In all, the book was a ...more
if you don't know the personality of Diana Vreeland, you may find this book a little over dramatic and an absolute load of baloney.
if you do know Diana Vreeland and her outrageous front, her love of tangents and her belief in her lavish gift of a life, then you'll probably find this book fun.

I know her personality, she is crazy and majorly over the top and that's what people loved about her. when I started the book I thought it was outlandish and crazy and I didn't know whether I would actually
"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 somethin ...more
Jecka Marie
The fashion world might never again have such a quirky and original treasure as Diana Vreeland. Not only is this woman a legend in the field of fashion publishing (working at Vogue and Harper's Bazaar during both magazines' heyday), but she is also responsible for a dozen fashion exhibitions at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As Mary Louise Wilson notes in her foreward to this edition, Vreeland had the fortune of living through almost every decade of the twentieth centur ...more
Brooke Everett
Diana Vreeland was a ground-breaking, eccentric tastemaker. I saw the documentary first (Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel), and I think it added enormously to being able to understand what the hell she's talking about most of the time. Otherwise, I think the book would have been much more confusing, as it's pretty much a collection of ramblings. She gives herself an awful lot of credit for all sorts of things, many of which may be true, but it's certainly clear that she's prone to exaggerat ...more
Diana Vreeland was a legendary editor of Vogue Magazine long before Anna Wintour. A woman of style and verve, Vreeland knew everybody from Jack Nicholson to Wallis Simpson, The Duchess of Windsor. This book is a series of vignettes, where she dishes about all the fabulously interesting people she calls "Great Fascinators". I can imagine Vreeland as being a sought after dinner guest due to her style and wonderful storytelling skills.
Kai Marcel
I found this book very amusing and entertaining; it encompasses a great deal of grandiose memories and experiences, like every biography should. It's important to note, however, this book (in my opinion) is for a very specific and rather limited audience; in other words, I think the reader has to know exactly what s/he is getting into, beforehand, to thoroughly enjoy this book. So if you weren't completely taken with the fabulous Mrs. Vreeland, this is not the book for you. On the other hand, if ...more
Celia Montgomery
Diana Vreeland is so confident in her own good judgement, so winning in her gossipy sense of fun and so original in her idea-making. Her only formal education was in ballet - which radiates through her writing. She is disciplined and intense but always dancer-light. This book went fast for me. I left my copy in Houston, and am now regretting it, because there were so many fantastic quotes in it. She led a fantastically privileged life, and did not waste a minute of it.
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Diana Vreeland was a noted columnist and editor in the field of fashion. She worked for the fashion magazines Harper's Bazaar and Vogue and the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Born as Diana Dalziel, Vreeland was the eldest daughter of American socialite mother Emily Key Hoffman and British father Frederick Young Dalziel. Hoffman was a descendant of George Washington's brother a
More about Diana Vreeland...
Allure Diana Vreeland Memos: The Vogue Years Sonia Delaunay: Art into Fashion Visionaire No. 37: Vreeland Memos Sdnr30 Glamour

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“A funny person is funny only for so long, but a wit can sit down and go on being spellbinding forever. One is not meant to laugh. One stays quiet and marvels. Spontaneously witty talk is without question the most fascinating entertainment there is.” 17 likes
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