Before the movie The Devil Wears Prada with the demanding and terrifying Miranda, there was Dianna Vreeland.  She was (and in many ways still is) iconic in the fashion world.  The Vogue editor’s grandson, Alexander Vreeland, complied a 300+ page of notes written by Vreeland during the time she was at Vogue – it was released this last October.

I honestly cannot even express how much this single woman in fashion history has inspired me throughout the years.  I want to share with you, Readers, the intimate sayings and famous quotations of a quite wonderful, fascinating lady.  On history, literature, fashion, and even Queen Elizabeth I… I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the things she has to say about the world.

Please, enjoy my friends.


“There’s only one very good life and that’s the life you know you want and you make it yourself.”

“The first rule that a geisha is taught, at the age of nine, is to be charming to other women…Every girl in the world should have geisha training.”

“You know the greatest thing is passion, without it what have you got? I mean if you love someone you can love them as much as you can love them but if it isn’t a passion, it isn’t burning, it isn’t on fire, you haven’t lived.”


dianna vree

 “When fashion turns over it brings in little tiny creaks and cracks. This is the fascination and that is where you have to watch every step.”

“Where Chanel came from in France is anyone’s guess. She said one thing one day and another thing the next. She was a peasant—and a genius. Peasants and geniuses are the only people who count and she was both.”

“How boring to copy the past — with all the magnificence of today and tomorrow.”

“I sincerely believe that energy grows from itself and the more energy you expand the more you create within yourself.

I also believe that energy is habit — which can be created quite easily. In other words, use your energy and more energy flows and then it is very hard to stop it — as if one would ever want to!”


“Today’s life, rhythm, etc. suits me perfectly… I believe in all natural people and, if in some way through this magazine I reach people in many countries, South America and behind the Iron Curtain, South Asia, etc. and give them an attractive feeling of being a woman, that is a great and fine feeling for me.”


“Within every girl is the possibility of arousing emotion.

Without emotion there is no beauty.”


“The way to judge a good hand is that the fingers are the same size at the tip as where they come out of the hand itself. There is nothing worse than a hand with tapering fingers. Also, nails that come out beyond the tip of the finger itself are so very démodée.”


“The future holds a golden world. It will be for beauty; it will be for intelligent productiveness.”


“There’s no such thing as a slack French face. Haven’t you ever noticed that? I’ve given this a lot of thought and I think it’s because the French have to exercise their jaws and the inside of their mouths so much just to get the words out. The vowels demand so much.”

“I think part of my success as an editor came from never worrying about a fact, a cause, an atmosphere. It was me—projecting to the public. That was my job.

I think I always had a perfectly clear view of what was possible for the public. Give ‘em what they never knew they wanted.”


“Style—all who have it share one thing: originality.”


“There’s only one thing in life, and that’s the continual renewal of inspiration.”

“Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events.

You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.”


“Balenciaga often said that women did not have to be perfect or beautiful to wear his clothes. When they wore his clothes, they became beautiful.”


“One never knew what one was going to see at a Balenciaga opening. One fainted. It was possible to blow up and die.” [ed. note: it’s also possible for the seating to malfunction and leave you standing for the duration of a presentation.]


“I think when you’re young you should be a lot with yourself and your sufferings.

Then one day you get out where the sun shines and the rain rains and the snow snows and it all comes together.”


“Prohibition. Insane idea. Try to keep me from taking a swallow of this tea and I’ll drink the whole pot.”


“Still, my dream in life is to come home and think of absolutely nothing. After all, you can’t think all the time.


“If you think all the time every day of your life, you might as well kill yourself today and be happier tomorrow.”


“I adore artifice. I always have.”


“‘Worse things happen at sea.’ That was [my father’s] great expression. It summed up any unpleasantness.”


“…Don’t think you were born too late. Everyone has that illusion. But you aren’t. The only problem is if you think too late.”


“Everything is new. At least everything is new the first time around.”


“I was always fascinated by the absurdities and luxuries and the snobbism of the world that fashion magazines showed. Of course, it’s not for everyone…But I lived in that world, not only during my years in the magazines business but for years before, because I was always of that world– at least in my imagination.”


“The West is boring itself to death! And talking itself to death!”


“I’d like to have been Elizabeth the First. She was wonderful. She surrounded herself with poets and writers, lived at Hampton Court, and drove that little team of spotted ponies with long tails….She’s at the top of my list. I loved the clothes. It took her four hours to dress—we have a lot in common!”


“I’ve learned a tremendous amount from maids in my life.”

Where would fashion be without literature?”


2 thoughts on “Inspiration

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