10 . 07 . 10
I own a lot of vintage books but one I don’t have in my collection is Allure by Diana Vreeland. I was therefore very excited to see a reissued copy in the bookstore today. Vreeland was a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue before her appointment in 1972 as “Special Consultant” to The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The book came about in 1980 because her editor at Doubleday, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, urged her to put together photos and musing on “allure” in fashion and in life. Fashion designer Marc Jacobs has written the foreword in the new version of Allure and I look forward to adding both editions to my shelves.
The cover of Allure is red and since I didn’t have any photos from the book, I thought it would be fun to take another look at Diana Vreeland’s Park Avenue apartment. According to her decorator, Billy Baldwin, she told him “I want this room to be a garden-but a garden in hell.” He replied “I knew what it meant: red. I searched for an eternity before I found exactly the right material- in John Fowler’s shop in London. It was scarlet chintz with brilliant Persian flowers. I raced home with yards and yards of it and we covered the whole room – walls, curtains, furniture, the works.” Luckily, the bedroom is blue although, still a riot of pattern. Enjoy!