I’m still attempting to conquer the pile of books I was given for Christmas and last week I finished DV by Diana Vreeland. DV is Diana’s autobiography, edited by George Plimpton (Editor in Chief of the Paris Review) and Christopher Hemphill. In it she regales the reader with stories from her impossibly glamorous and privileged life, all told in a gossipy high camp manner which makes you feel as if you are having cocktails with her at the Ritz.
Diana Vreeland was one of the most iconic women in American fashion. She started her career in Harper’s Bazaar as a columnist and subsequently became Editor of Vogue from 1963-1971. The world of high fashion was a world she easily inhabited, being from a rich background and being a couture client from her early twenties. Diana became a renowned arbiter of style, so much so that Jaqueline Kennedy turned to her for advice on matters of style when JFK became President.
The irony of reading another fabulous story of Diana’s, involving jewelled elephants or Spanish Infantas or a personal fitting with Coco Chanel, whilst I was sitting on a cramped and smelly bus, rain hammering on the windows, was not lost on me. This book made me green with envy. To live a life filled with so many advantages, with so much beauty, would be a dream come true. The fact that Diana was hilariously entertaining is the one thing that made reading the book bearable.