Diana Vreeland, 1903-1989
Born into a family of privilege, Diana Vreeland worked her way up the fashion print industry to become the tastemaker in American and European fashion for nearly fifty years. She honed a distinct voice, penning Harper’s Bazaar’s “Why Don’t You” column in 1936—an irreverent call for decadent behavior during the Depression era. After several decades as fashion editor there, she was appointed editor in chief for American Vogue, serving from 1962 to 1971. There, she initiated the 1960s “Youthquake” by bringing in such new talent as teenaged model Twiggy and photographer Richard Avedon. After being fired from Vogue, Vreeland continued to be a force in the fashion world as the visionary behind the critically acclaimed exhibitions at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Levine emphasizes Vreeland’s severe sartorial and editing habits in this caricature with the stark lines of her dress, her pose, and her most powerful accessory—her judgmental gaze.
David Levine, 1982