May 15, 2011

Why Not!

My last post was not the most flattering picture of the renowned Diana Vreeland, and I felt a bit shabby about that. Mrs. Vreeland had much more to offer than her famous "Why Don't You...?" column, and as celebrated as it is, I've personally always had a biased wonderment against it. In any case, I wanted to give a more appealing slant to this follow-up.

Yes, she did paint an overly flamboyant picture of what one should do for a most fashionable life, but she herself was in an everlasting pursuit of just such an existence. And she was superbly well-connected in a time of opulence, Great Depression or not. And couturiers often gave her clothes for free, being the jolie-laide muse that she was. No wonder she had such advice.

To prop up my sentiments about Mrs. Vreeland, here's a few of the gentler, more feasible tips she posted in her column. Why don't you:
  • use a gigantic shell instead of a bucket to ice your champagne?
  • pick up in Florida the prettiest shells you can find and make them into a mirror frame of a baroque shell design?
  • photograph your child sitting against the mirror? The full reflection is adorable.
  • tie an enormous bunch of silver balloons on the foot of your child's bed on Christmas Eve?
  • realize, realize the return of black, and black and white, in decoration? It is of tremendous importance. Use it whenever you can.
Iris Apfel once said regarding her own eclectic wardrobe "You have to care deeply and at the same time not give a damn". I think that suits Diana well. She was perennially finding and creating, and free of the ties that hamper creativity, she succeeded in fashion and interior design. That indomitable spirit made her the style icon she was - and is. Why not!


Esten, John, and Diana Vreeland. Diana Vreeland Bazaar Years: including 100 Audacious Why Don't Yous--? New York, NY: Universe Pub., 2001.

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