With the most of the world indulging into the subversive nature of horror films this Halloween, we at What?! sat down to view the arguably most talked about fashion film of the year; the Diana Vreeland documentary ‘The Eye Has To Travel’.
Born in 1903, Vreeland was the iconic fashion editor before they became A-List celebrities and gossip page fillers. Dubbed as the ‘Empress of Fashion’, Vreeland’s stark opinions and her unique view on fashion and style led to her being one of the most recognised and respected fashion editors of the past – a true original fashion icon.
Starting her legendary career at Harper’s Bazaar, Vreeland spent 25 years working for the publication before leaving and becoming the editor-in-chief for Vogue. Her time at the publication saw her re-vamp and bring life to the magazine, making fashion accessible for women of all walks of life. Vreeland’s work never shied away from uniqueness; in fact it was celebrated and endorsed. The most prolific example of this throughout the film is the use of Barbara Streisand’s nose. It was Vreeland that put her on the cover, and the rest is now history.
The film itself is the directorial debut from from Lisa Immordino Vreeland, granddaughter-in-law to Diana. Those expecting a glossy ‘Devil Wears Prada’ or a catty ‘The September Issue’ style film, will be sadly disappointed as this film is a raw and candid exploration and story of Vreeland’s life. It’s the true and honest life story of Diana Vreeland and her successful rise to the top, chronicling openly and honestly about her childhood, career at Harper’s, career at Vogue, all the way through to her work with the MET Costume Instituiton.
Perhaps the most endearing and attractive quality to this film, is the fact that Diana’s story is told by Diana herself, using archived taped audio from the sessions of writing her memoirs ‘D.V.’ along with old interview footage. The film goes through her life in chronological order, and serves as a visual and physical embodiment of Vreeland’s memoirs. Of course, Vreeland’s undeniable wit and articulately poignant quotes on fashion, are embodied throughout; need we forget Vreeland’s quote on the bikini being the most “important thing since the atomic bomb”. Throughout the film there are wonderful tributes and personal stories from people such as: Ali McGraw, David Bailey and Laura Hutton, who touch upon their memories and encounters with Vreeland.
‘The Eye Has To Travel’ is an emotional and candid portrait and celebration of one of fashion’s most respected women and inspiration to all, who’s iconic view changed fashion, art, beauty and the culture surrounding it from then to forever. This film is a serious must have for the whole fashion world.
‘The Eye Has To Travel’ is available on Monday 29th October,2012. Distributed by Studio Canal – http://www.studiocanal.com
For more information on the Diana Vreeland project please visit: http://www.dianavreeland.com
By David Mahoney