out of Five
Running time: 86
This eye-opening and visually enchanting documentary pays a worthy tribute to Diana Vreeland, the legendary spirit who had a profound and long-lasting influence on the face of fashion.
What’s it all about?
Directed and produced by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, the subject’s granddaughter-in-law, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel tells the fascinatingly out-of-the-ordinary story of the late Diana Vreeland, the fêted former fashion columnist and legendary style pioneer. Spotted by Harper’s Bazaar editor, Carmel Snow, during a New York party in 1936, Vreeland became the style magazine’s fashion editor, where she became renowned for her witty and provocative style column, ‘Why Don’t You?’, staying at the publication for 25 years before later jumping ship to Vogue, where she became editor-in-chief, before being abruptly sacked in 1971. Fascinated by glamour, beauty and eccentricity, Vreeland was good friends with actors Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty and thrust stars such as Lauren Bacall, Cher and Barbara Streisand into global Hollywood stardom, changing the way in which society would view beauty and fashion forever.
Diana Vreeland was notoriously an ostentatious, no-holds-barred kind of character, spilling out side-splitting one-liners about her bold views on fashion, style, culture and characters and this eye-opening and brilliantly-edited documentary, which is based on the book written by director Lisa Immordino Vreeland, skilfully plays up to this, showcasing her most memorable quotes. The documentary remains entirely pro-Diana throughout, playfully touching on her meticulous and lavish demands to her colleagues and her undeniable negligence for her two sons, who she admitted gave her no joy, with a good sense of humour and laissez-faire attitude. The interview subjects ranging from Anjelica Huston to the fashion star’s grown sons also offer great insights and pay fine anecdotal tributes to the woman who literally breathed life into fashion.
The finest tribute Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel pays to the late fashion star is its entire dedication to her character, career and legacy, keeping as quiet as possible on her relationship with husband Thomas Reed Vreeland, a Yale graduate, who Vreeland remained in love with until his death in 1967 and who she liked to keep fiercely private. Also great and brilliantly fitting is the documentary’s pulsating and vibrant soundtrack, featuring the likes of The Rolling Stones’ ‘She’s a Rainbow’, which champions the documentary’s flamboyant subject with pizzazz – just the way she would want it!
Extremely fascinating with a strong sense of pace and focus, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is a must-see for even those without any interest in fashion, who will simply be astonished by Vreeland’s great charm and vivacious wit. Recommended.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel (PG)