Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Last week I watched the documentary 'The Eye Has To Travel' - a fascinating insight into the life and work of the ex-fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar, Diana Vreeland. The documentary can be described as a visual autobiography, which documents every aspect of Vreeland's extraordinary life and career, drawing heavily on audio tapes of Vreeland, recorded by journalist George Plimpton, which  provides an intimate portrait and fitting tribute to the most influential women of the 20th century. 

The documentary explores Vreeland's early life and childhood in Paris during the Belle Époque, as well as her incredible magazine career, lasting from the late 1930s, all the way to the early 70s. This in itself allows the documentary to story major landmarks within the history of fashion, showing the influence Vreeland had in shaping and redefining the industry, challenging its preconceptions and never afraid to try something different, something which she encouraged her Harper's Bazaar readers to do also and ask themselves, "Why don't you...". 

Even at the end of her magazine career, Vreeland still managed to make a huge impact on the world of fashion in her stint at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she became consultant to the Costume Institute. Vreeland immediately shook up the Museums once sleepy Costume Institute, creating an experience that the audience would remember, choosing to present clothing's history in an innovative and interactive way.

What makes 'The Eye Has To Travel' entertaining is the fact that Vreeland herself is entertaining - she's bold, audacious, eccentric but still incredibly charming. It's clear to see why her legacy still lives on today and the documentary celebrates this legacy and her incredible achievements as a pioneer of fashion. 

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