Farewell: Diana Vreeland, Fashion’s Rogue Spirit (1903-1989)

A bright star has fallen from fashion's constellation, and our community may never stop grieving the black hole created by her absence. Diana Vreeland, dazzler of the last 50 years of fashion, arbiter of all things quirky-chic, has passed away at the age of 86. Her entrée at Bazaar symbolized the birth of a new breed of fashion editors, staging a coup d'etat on the socialite scene queens that previously ran the show.
We lived for her "Why Don't You?" columns (who could forget DV's suggestion to wash babies' hair in dead champagne?), and oh how those costume installations at the Met shook things up! If it weren't for her, Lauren Bacall and Edie Sedgwick may have remained shrouded in obscurity, Jackie O wouldn't have found Oleg Cassini, her wardrobe's champion, and Funny Face's Maggie Prescott would've lacked major pizzazz — not to mention all of those splashy Avedon spreads, wowzas.
Irreverent in the best of ways, supremely stylish, and overflowing with ideas, everything about this maverick's life exuded invention and joie de vivre. When her beloved hubby Reed knocked on heaven's door, the typically black-clad glamour gal wore red as her mourning regalia, and we shall do the same.
In memoriam, we've highlighted some of her unforgettable quotes:
"I wanted it to look like a garden. A garden in hell." (Describing her living room, pictured above)
"I think your imagination is your reality."
"Never fear being vulgar, just boring."
"That bikini is the most important thing since the atom bomb."
"The only real elegance is in the mind; if you've got that, the rest really comes from it."
"I loathe narcissism, but I approve of vanity."
"Elegance is innate. It has nothing to do with being well dressed. Elegance is refusal."
"As you know, the French like the French very much."
"The best thing about London is Paris."
"Balenciaga did the most delicious clothes. Clothes aren't delicious anymore."
"I was going through money like one goes through...a bottle of scotch, I suppose, if you're an alcoholic."
"All my life I've pursued the perfect red. I can never get painters to mix it for me. It's exactly as if I'd said, 'I want Rococo with a spot of Gothic in it and a bit of Buddhist temple.'"
"I'm a great believer in vulgarity — if it's got vitality. A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste — it's hearty it's healthy, it's physical. I think we could use more of it. NO taste is what I'm against."
"Too much good taste can be boring."
"I adore pink! It's the navy blue of India."
"What do I think about the way most people dress? Most people are not something one thinks about."

Photos: Via Diana Vreeland Official Site

This story was part of Refinery29's 2012 April Fool's joke

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