The Editor of Change and Unconventionality

“Why don’t you…tie black tulle bows on your wrists?

“Why don’t you…cover a big cork bulletin board in bright pink felt, banded with bamboo, and pin with colored thumb-tacks all of your various enthusiasms as you life varies from week to week?”

“Why don’t you…own, as does one extremely smart woman, twelve diamond roses of all sizes?”

-Diana Vreeland

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Diana Vreeland was a remarkably talented and fearlessly unconventional fashion columnist and editor in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s. She was an unforgettable pioneer, a creator of new, daring concepts on the beauties and originalities of fashion and culture. She was a spirited woman with a sophisticated, witty personality that could not be confined. She was a traveler, a person with a fearless imagination who, both physically and mentally, saw and experienced new, uncharted worlds. She was a beautiful, dynamic dreamer in that she wanted people to break away from the mundane, the sameness of everyday life. She was a free-spirit, writing what she wished to write, doing what she wished to do. She was a heroine of individuality, having a strong, passionate desire for the unique, individual woman.

Diana Vreeland embraced both the minor changes and large revolutions of fashion. She recognized every aspect of the fashion world, including all of its mysteries, complexities, simplicities, and imaginings.

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First making herself known in the industry in the year 1937, Diana Vreeland’s awe-consuming, beautifying presence has been known, seen, and experienced in the fashion industry for many years. Beginning her career as a columnist at Harper’s Bazaar, Vreeland created a column full of willingness, a willingness to discover new details about yourself and your inner desires; a column full of outrageousness, filled with unrealistic, beautiful dreams that were stunningly unordinary. This column was entitled “Why Don’t You?”
However, this was not where the true Vreeland emerged. This is not where the true Vreeland staked her claim in the industry. Diana Vreeland signified her worldly, experienced thoughts and radical, lavish fashions at Vogue, as editor-in-chief. This is where her pure innovative mind was revealed.
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Vreeland redefined the standard of beauty. Vreeland reinvented the fashion editor. Vreeland transformed Vogue into a magazine of both hardship and pleasure, real-life and fantasy. She helped to create a magazine that focused on demolishing commonalities and embracing changing topics in an ever-changing world. Vreeland was and still is the true definition of a fashion editor. Whether it was originating trends, creating new, influential ideas, or experiencing the world, Vreeland gave the editor a viewpoint, a say and attitude in what is important and admirable in the fashion universe. Vreeland gave the editor an imagination, a want to exaggerate and emphasize beautiful pieces of clothing, beautiful places of the world, beautiful moments in history, art, and culture, beautiful persons of much thought and substance.
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Diana Vreeland, most significantly, embraced the powers and gifts of change. She relished in the excellencies of forwardness and the unknown wonders of the revolutionizing future.  Embracing the 60s culture of individualism, modernism, and youth, she cherished the powers of uniqueness and the desires to change constrictive thoughts of past social tradition and conventional fashions of unrevealing dreariness. Vreeland, during her time in the fashion industry, created new, sensational concepts of sparkling free-thought and lively wildness.
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Diana Vreeland…the pioneer of alternative thoughts, styles, and fashions.
         An icon of fashion…
                  A proponent of change…
                             A woman of legendary, global status…
Diana Vreeland…the explorer, the discoverer, and the editor of the fashion world.
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A Golden Suit of Armor

Brazenly metallic and extremely fierce…a powerful posture.

Daringly bold and passionately dark…a brave demeanor.

Restlessly piercing and harshly sharp…a loud, strident feel.

Fashion’s fiery attitude—a strong, noteworthy, edgy look.

The fashion spectrum has a wide, never-ending range. It incorporates elements of anguish, strife, and fear; elements of surprise, joy, and clarity; elements of devotion, romance, and warmth. It has a spirit that is unmistakable; a pull that is hard to let go of. It has a form of energy that is both welcoming and praise-worthy. The styles have a certain vivacity to them, no matter the subject or structure.

Designs travel to unique worlds of reality and fantasy–creations of lush, pink flowers; creations of dark, mystical wonders–creations of simplistic detail; creations of zany zest and flare. A woman is clothed in a work of art, a style that speaks volumes in its own, unique way. The pieces could speak about loving embrace. The pieces could speak about mysterious anger. Fashion is alive in many different forms.

Recently I did a post entitled, A Whimsical Romance of Lace and Pearl. This post delved into the beauty and luxury of romantic fashions and designs. For this post, however, I decided to travel to opposite side of fashion’s spectrum. This side speaks volumes in a different way, devoid of frill and girly desire. This side speaks volumes in a way that captures metallic edge, dark shine, and structured power. It is time to explore a place of hard spike, iron shine, and encrusted jewel–a place of tough chic and control.

The allure of this impenetrable side of fashion is hard to ignore. It enraptures minds with tough, unyielding authority and absolute, superior strength. The look consolidates elements of pride, solidity, steam, and influence. It gives off an unafraid vibe–committing oneself to inner acceptance and secured opinion. It is a work of concentrated direction and authoritative forwardness–it is in a state of vigorous darkness and irresistible enchantment. The look captivates eyes with its bewitching, attractive qualities.

This look of inextinguishable influence takes in the particulars of color, texture, and detail. It  admires the color hues of midnight black, lush red, misty grey, and dark blue. It shines in the powers of silver and gold metallic. It ignores colors of natural lightness and dainty pleasure. The look focuses on textures of harshness and boldness. It beholds the standout desires of loud spikes and studs. It envelops shiny leather and heavy, outstanding material. The look pays attention to the effective details of architecture and protection. It dazzles in exuberant, flashy jewels that exude a domineering presence. It captures itself in a tightly, designed framework of knightly stance, futuristic behavior, and invincible grace.

A look of edge is hard to avoid. It reappears constantly on the runways and on the streets. It reappears readily in creative advertisements and aesthetic editorials. It is a look that is truly compelling, influential, and fearless. It is undaunted by criticism. It is undaunted by censure…

It is a side of fashion that is protected by its own suit of armor.

Uniquely Finesse, Coddington’s Dream

Fearless, transcendent, original, innovative–all of these are words to describe the incredible, talented, rare Grace Coddington.

Setting the tone for Vogue’s creative philosophy, Grace Coddginton is a true visionary in the fashion world. Joining American Vogue in 1988 and becoming the creative director, Coddington takes her experienced skill and translates it into photo shoots of imagination and reality. Taking daring risks, Coddington strives to create outfits that are memorably unique and effectively stunning. Whether it is a shot of contemporary fashion in a modern setting or a scene taking the viewer back in time to the thrilling 1920s, Coddington personalizes the shot to her gifted view and inspired style.

Grace Coddington does not let critical opinion’s influence her work. She has a keen-eye for style. She has a keen-eye for risk. She creates a thought-provoking fashion spectacle in her works. Illustrating a scene with an artist’s mind, Coddington leaves an inventive impression–a scene filled with emotion, color, and originality. Harmoniously refined, aesthetically pleasing, poetically seen- Coddington is remarkable.

There is one Coddington shoot that effects me in way that is different from all the others. This shoot is the twenties story. This historical shoot portraying scenes of the 1920s is beautiful, stylish, and rhythmically elegant. It sets a warm mood filled with a silent film movie allure. The flapper fashions are impeccable with luxurious pearls, cloche hats, feather boas, and sequined dresses. The make up is sultry with dark red lips and thick eye shadow. The jewelry is stunning with bright colors of blue and red to dark colors of black and charcoal. The setting is not too dramatic. The lighting is not too bright. The photo shoot is immaculate. Perfecting photography, relishing in picturesque outfits, I am in love.

Here are some of the memorable photos…

With a clever, honest, imaginative mind, Grace Coddington is truly gifted. Her power to create pictures and explore special ideas is remarkable. She is extravagantly cultured and fancifully talented. With personality she succeeds, with fashion she soars.

Showgirls Bejeweled!

Bold, sparkling, and fun, Dolce Gabbana’s famous bodysuits are unforgettable. Closing the Spring 2012 RTW show with a bang, these jeweled corsets exuded a playful, optimistic energy, with an undeniable daring quality. This garment, which has a long history with the brand, has appeared on the runway, in magazines, and on celebrities. It makes a significant presence. It lacks simplicity and relishes in its unique flavor!

This bustier-like bodice is truly beautiful in its colorful embellishments and its eye-catching appeal. Colors of pink, red, green, yellow, gold, black, blue, and purple. Shapes of circles, rectangles, ovals, and triangles. The diversity and creativeness is evident! With a showgirl like appeal, these artistic pieces look as if they were made for the theatre. With their sparkling, alluring quality, it is as if an actress was singing and dancing on a warm, bright stage.

If one of these inventive, inviting corsets had to be my favorite, it would definitely be the one above. Adorning its fabric are rich jewels with a thrilling symmetrical pattern. Extravagantly decorated, the color, the richness, and the flavor of this lingerie piece is impeccable. There is even an addition of a peplum-like circular shape to the waist. There is an inescapable quality of beauty and wonder in this piece. The detailing is exquisite. The artistic attributes are readily apparent. With a sheer midsection revealed, this loud corset is both thrilling and exciting!

Elaborately embellished, colorfully chic, and individually incredible, these confident Dolce and Gabbana lush corsets are electric, special, and most importantly, memorable!

A Timeless Cover of Influence

Fashion magazines have had an influence in the world since the early 1900’s. Their effective imagery and ingenious works of creation captivate fashion in a way that is almost magical. These fashion magazines delve deep into the art of fashion and exhibit boldness, determination, and brilliance. With every page turned, a new understanding is gained. With every image, color, and design, comes an inspiration–an inspiration to take a risk and to be yourself.

One aspect of fashion magazines that I love most are the covers. These covers give the viewer a chance to see something beautiful. These covers give the viewer a chance to see fashion. Traveling back to the past, whether it was a flapper dress in the 1920s or a pencil skirt in the 1950s, these covers broke and still do break social barriers of constraint and insecurity. They are colorful, loud, and telling. They exhibit grace, beauty, and an appeal that is unforgettable.

However, although there are many fashion magazines of the past and present that have made these ideals become reality, there is one dateless magazine that makes its presence known above all the others. This magazine is Vogue.

Vogue’s effect on the fashion industry is ever-lasting. Its beneficial qualities are infinite. From charitable projects to teachings on beauty and self-worth, Vogue is remarkable. What I find incredibly admirable about Vogue is its ability to transcend realistically the times of the past and the present. What I love most about Vogue though is its covers. These covers are a combination of style, design, passion, energy, and fierceness. They are light and chic. Lets take a look at some of these memorable artistic covers from the ’20s through the ’50s…

Jazz, rights, and speakeasies–these were the 1920s. Vogue portrayed the 1920s perfectly. From the day to the night, life was abuzz with freedom, music, and most importantly, fashion. Sparkles and prosperity, inching hemlines and sheer silhouettes–fashion was breaking free and living to its fullest extent! Vogue portrays the flapper as the queen of the day, the night, the countryside, and the city. Bold zigzags, luxurious furs, white pearls–the sun shines, the lights glow, the fashion comes to life.

As the Depression hit, fashion lived. Structure, grace and elegance–a woman’s figure traditionally presented. From hard chic to soft dresses, the 1930s were a time of enhancement. Feminine curves were highlighted as broad shoulders were emphasized. Evening gowns of soft silk were worn as the theatre, restaurants, and nightclubs captivated peoples time and desire. Vogue gave the woman a look of elegance. With lengthy dresses and classic long sleeves, charming fashions are revealed.

The war ended. Fashion had made its return. After taking a second place in response to the WWII effort, Parisian courtiers began to bring fashion back and American designers made gains and prominence. From Parisian looks of drastically lengthened and widened skirts, to American looks of ready-to-wear fashion, fashion overcame obstacles and succeeded. Vogue portrayed fashion as sophisticated and fun spirited. With the use of photography, fashion was able to be shown in real life, an actual setting. A brown dress and a dramatic fur hat, a fun loving white bathing suit with a tight swim cap, Vogue captured both sides of the fashion spectrum!

With a growth of culture came a growth of fashion. The 1950s was a time of rock n’ roll, pop art, and poodle skirts. Marilyn Monroe oozed sex appeal, as Elvis Presley rocked the stages of America. Fashions emphasized a modernized flapper with sleeveless dresses and invisible waists. There was a delicate femininity. Women wore stiletto heels with little hats with veils and feathers. Women wore wrist-length gloves with tight pencil skirts that perfected the “hour-glass shape.” Vogue reflected these trends wonderfully on its covers. These images truly showed “how to be the beauty the new fashions ask for.”

As quoted by Caroline Weber of the New York Times, Vogue is “the world’s most influential fashion magazine.” Its covers capture the fashions of the times tastefully and perfectly!

Timeless, influential, and inventive, this is Vogue. And it most certainly prevails.