Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland

Image of Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland
Release Date: 
December 4, 2012
Harper Collins
Reviewed by: 

“Would I recommend Empress of Fashion? . . . hell yes!”

Amanda Mackenzie might have actually done something that no other author has done: exposed Diana Vreeland as another human being who walked among us, not just a deity in the fashion universe.

Of approximately one dozen books penned about Diana Vreeland, none appear to tell the true and full tale of the real life of Diana Vreeland like this one.

Empress of Fashion takes the reader on a journey from Diana Dalziel Vreeland’s childhood to death, sharing information that has never all been assembled within one volume. This is a full photographic rendition of the life of this icon including life with her parents, her sibling, her adoring husband, her children, and her grandchildren. It is a rare and welcomed view of her private life which was so often overlooked in favor of the glossy and more obvious parts of her life, including all the glamour and bon mots she was so free with.

This reviewer is not so sure that Ms. Vreeland would approve of this portrait but Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland is a backstage pass to one of the greatest and most dynamic fashion personalities of the 20th century.

If you know anything about Diana Vreeland, you know that truth was something totally up for grabs: Ms. Vreeland knew she inhabited her own reality.

Highlights of the biography include Ms. Vreeland’s type of “shorthand or language of fashion,” which of course was never superficial or obvious. She had seemingly inexhaustible imagination and energy. And her private life with her husband Reed, her dream team of “Mellen, Avedon, and Veruschka,” and her wild antics while at the helms of Vogue, Bazaar, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are the stuff of fashion legend.

Without question, Ms. Vreeland’s was one of the true great originals who d bucked no interference from ANYONE . . . EVER!

The readership of Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland is far beyond the scope of fashionistas into the genre of biography. Unlike most fashion based biographies, this one must be read not just skipped through. Not only can you fall in love with Mrs. Vreeland one more time but you might also shed a tear as you find out she was just like us, with emotions and foibles and a sadness that lived within her.

Would I recommend Empress of Fashion? . . . hell yes!