In celebration of Madame Vreeland’s birthday (July 29), I saw it only fitting to bring back this historic “ a deux” conversation. This should also serve as a reminder to those of us who remember her, that there will probably never be anyone who dominated international fashion as she did … and not for financial or personal gain. She was perhaps the most explosively influential person to ever inhabit the world of fashion as t was on every continent. For those of us who lived during her reign, or at least part of it, we will forever be held in her sway. For those unfortunate enough to have not experienced her, you are lesser than the rest but you have the opportunity to read and learn from a master as so much of what she accomplished is still readily available via the internet and books. Hopefully, somewhere, there is a budding Mrs.Vreeland in coming generations who will exert the same seismic power that she once wielded.
1. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT STATE OF MIND?
I am finally able to chat up these lovely men who have come to see me ..Yves, Lee, Blass and even darling Nan, who no longer needs that dreadful awful oxygen wheelie next to her even when she smoked, and then there is Brooke and Dick and even chere Lou Lou ..Actually I am thrilled, even that dreadful worm of a man Jerry Zipkin is here
2. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PRESENT STATE OF FASHION?
How indescribably ghastly it is now that bu$iness has become more important than “la mode” tsk tsk tsk and that Anna person who is like a walking cash register trying to find jobs for bad designers and constantly beating the money drum…so so déclassé? D’accord?
3. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CELEBRITY/MODEL IDEA?
Yes of course we always had celebrities and Dick (Aberdeen) always did such a superb job with them but NOW you have such low class women to choose from and those simply detestable reality people. Those women are a mop and pail away from being maids..so low class, so common. There are so few real natural beauties ..now it is injectable here and fix that and re build these and I say ‘kiss my ass” where are the beauties..the originals?
4. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF REALITY STARS TURNED INTO STYLE ICONS?
Common is the new celebrity! Trash is the new collectible! I once said a little bad taste is good but…..my word! Why not ignore them ALL?
5. WHO ARE YOU SORRY YOU MISSED DURING YOUR CAREER?
I would have loved to see the blossoming of such talents as Alber Elbaz and Alexander McQueen and even Sarah Burton who absorbed the soul of the late Lee.
6. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO NEW TALENT?
Be original ..be daring…be fabulous ..why not find what no one else has done and do it ?
7. WHAT WAS YOUR CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT?
I was fabulous!! I made them notice me, listen to me , breathlessly anticipate my moods. I dared to be different I dared never to be boring, I discovered and nurtured some of the greatest talents in fashion. I even painted the soles of my shoes red before Monsieur Louboutin ever had an inkling of doing it ..ca va!
8. WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE CHANGED ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH?
I would have been even more outrageous, I would have made them all become my loyal acolytes …maybe I might have stayed a bit longer at Bazaar and Vogue and I really needed more time at the Met..
9. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNER?
What is there to say , most of my very favorites are here with me ….they were the game changers, the explorers, the geniuses…they are missed …they left a void and seemingly there is no one one to fill the void….insulting is this Tom Ford with his perfect 3 day growth and his ever non smiling face and too much hype and too much exclusivity and not enough substance
10 .WITH WHOM WOULD YOU LIKE TO SPLIT A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE ? NAME ONE OR MORE
I have so many pals here now ..all I have to do is find the reincarnation of my red Billy Baldwin “garden in hell” and then I will be set to rock n roll…..oops I must meet Daphne Guinness..great spirit ..great style …never ever boring
11. WHO DO YOU THINK “BORROWED” FROM YOUR WORK MOST SUCCESSFULLY?
Everyone thought I was too out there, too outré..I am here to tell you that what came after me is B O R I N G. This Anna and Glenda and Stefano…hah! Much ado about nothing…where’s the fabulous , where are the Polly Mellens..maybe this Carine frau , but she is too much in front of the camera and not enough behind and too consistent
12. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO MENTOR IN THIS GENERATION?
I am not sure there is anyone worthy of my mentoring ..I do like that Needleman gal from of all places … The Wall Street Journal..she is smart ..clean … just could use some one to make her spark some more, you know show some fireworks
13. DO YOU THINK FASHION IS TAKEN TOO SERIOUSLY?
Yes, I think all the fun has left the building so to speak , there is no joie de vivre any more no je ne sais quoi ..just more and more dresses that are all versions of one another —well you know since I am prone to exaggeration, not really all but so many are derivative or simply copied from the greats.
14. WHO DO YOU THINK HAS LITTLE TALENT AS A DESIGNER?
Well, how long do we have? How many can I list…if I say too much I run the risk of being sprayed red! Or even worse being branded a traitor to the cause. I am not interested in cargo shorts or ugly cloddy shoes..I want glamor..I want pizazz. I want models who are models not just hangers..I want WOW!
15. HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME BACK IN A SECOND LIFE?
I want to come back as the next “IT” girl at Conde Nast or a freelance stylist …I want to tell them all how stupid they are and how much better the magazines and photographs would be if there was someone with imagination and true talent …well really..my imagination and my spirit and my “WHY NOT?” I want to shake them from their roots ..their long boring accountant’s roots…toadies , all of them