Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

(2011)

Documentary tribute to the icon who some consider the most influential woman of 20th Century fashion - style writer and magazine editor Diana Vreeland. Diana's granddaughter charts Vreeland's life from her challenging childhood through to the Belle Époque in Paris, New York's Roaring '20s and the Swinging '60s in London.... More

Archival interviews with Vreeland capture her flair for style and penchant for namedropping, while many of her coterie of famous friends and associates weigh in with their own comments - including Richard Avedon, Angelica Huston, Oscar de la Renta, Manolo Blahnik, Calvin Klein and Hubert de Givenchy.Hide

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Flicks Review

It’s hard to imagine today’s fashion editors would send their teams overseas with the vague directive “think of Cleopatra”. But Diana Vreeland, the revolutionary editor who led Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar through some of history’s most exciting fashion eras, and who later became the curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, was no ordinary editor. Famous not just for her brilliant eye but for her enormous, eccentric personality, she’s an inspiring and intriguing documentary subject, even after death.... More

This doco was filmed by her grand-daughter-in-law Lisa Immordino Vreeland so unsurprisingly it’s a mostly glowing, celebratory look at the style icon, with tributes from the likes of Anjelica Houston and glimpses of her intimidating side from Ali McGraw, who once worked with her as an assistant.

Immordino draws predominantly on interviews for Vreeland’s written memoirs by journalist George Plimpton, although the voiceovers provided by an actress are a strange touch. Then again, Vreeland was just as grandiose and kooky as the narrative intones. Anna Wintour may have become the world’s most famous fashion editor but her flat and unreadable persona is the antithesis to Vreeland’s wild, fanciful, theatrical character. Although much of the archival footage of Vreeland in her later years is grainy, her eccentric dress sense and tendency to talk in outrageous soundbites bring it to life.

What makes this such a joy to watch is not just the timeline of fashion highlights, but Vreeland’s unique perspective on life. She knew she was no beauty and yet made the most not just of her own flaws but by accentuating others’, such as Barbra Streisand’s Nefertiti nose and Penelope Tree’s woodland creature eyes.

Little is made of Vreeland’s personal life, a world she tended to neglect for her career. However there is a telling interview with her two sons in which it’s apparent that her life was first and foremost, about her work.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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BY freshdude superstar

Lisa Immordino Vreeland ,married to Vreeland's grandson Alexander, had access to an extensive network and archives, for her debut as a director-producer; and she sure made good use of it all. Utilising confidential interviews with her autobiographer, we feel Diana is telling us her story herself. And not to mention the contributions from numerous fashion legends such as Givenchy, Diane von Furstenberg, Lauren Hutton, Calvin Klein and Oscar de la Renta, to name a few.

The result is a... More comprehensive and fascinating portrait of a woman whose iconoclastic views influenced, and merged, the worlds of fashion, art, publishing and pop culture for the first time.Hide


The Press Reviews

94% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Bursting with insights and a droll sense of the absurd side of fashion, it's a fitting tribute to one of the industry's key figures. Full Review

  • She's entertaining enough, and like most fashion documentaries, it's a mine of pop-cultural history, but the unswervingly generous assessment of her achievements and permanently arch vocal style become a little wearying. Full Review

  • Anna Wintour? Feh! There never was, and never will be, a style icon quite like Diana Vreeland. Full Review

  • A fashion world Who's Who offer accolades, while Vreeland's vulnerabilities are revealed in interviews telling how, ridiculed by her socialite mother as ugly, she invented herself on her own terms. Full Review

  • When discussing tastemakers of the 20th century, few names conjure "style" with the zest of Diana Vreeland, and documentary The Eye Has to Travel gets the zing just right. Full Review

  • Vivid, delicious trip through the heyday of fashion mags is a must for followers of clothes, print design, and high society. Full Review

  • With whimsy and wit to match the woman herself, this documentary transcends stereotype to celebrate a complex, vibrant and influential figure. Full Review

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