Sunday, October 4, 2015

Allure: Diana Vreeland/Phillies Red -Okay That's a Stretch

Diana Vreeland, late former Vogue editor and key fashion icon, is the same woman who made red, or 'Phillies red' according to locals, the 'it' color.

Allure: Diana Vreeland/Phillies Red -Okay That's a Stretch

Left, the latest cover of ´Allure´ by Diana Vreeland, who practically made the ´Phillies red´ color (on pitchers Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels). (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)
Left, the latest cover of 'Allure' by Diana Vreeland, who practically made the 'Phillies red' color (on pitchers Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels). (David M Warren / Staff Photographer)

Eccentricity does not eclipse good taste. In fact, that is what is truly alluring.  That is the heart of the message of Allure (Chronicle Books, $35) by the late former Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland. Vreeland is a key fashion icon - and one of my favorites -because she made red - Think Phillies' red as in Go Phillies! - a very "it" color. Vreeland was known for the red rooms in her home. She's probably the reason behind the red-bottomed Louboutins (But I digress) Anyway, Chronicle Books reprinted Vreeland's 1980 book in hardcover with a rich, nicely-written forward by Marc Jacobs. In two pages, Jacobs captured the essence of Vreeland when he writes:

"I could be totally wrong about this - but I don't believe she was a very linear thinker. I think she was probably turned on by and inspired by many different things. And since I'm also a nonlinear thinker, I can understand that. I understand why one picture is next to the other and I understand why they're all included and why they're all valid in one book from this woman. I think she trusted herself. To have that kind of trust was not just a whim, but a true impulse born of her sensibility. It's so unapologetic. There's nothing that requires an explanation. The reason these images are all alluring is because she believed them to be."

That said it's kind of cool looking through the book seeing Vreeland's idea of luxury, pop culture and high fashion.  Vreeland, who was born in 1904 and died in 1989 has a sensibility that predates our millennium paparazzi so the photographs she picked were probably only seen in this book. There seem to be a lot of pics of the Baron de Meyer in tailored flapper styles of the 1920s and black and white stills by revered fashion photographer Richard Avedon. But there are pics of Fred Astaire and Mic Jagger and Marilyn Monroe.

The book  - with its striking red hard cover -  will appeal to those of us who enjoy what role fashion played in the lives of dignitaries of yesteryear. We must remember, however, these are her visions of aspiration, not ours. In that vein, we can appreciate some of the history of the early 20th century fashion and understand Vreeland's logic. "We musn't be afraid of snobbism and absurdity," she writes in the original forward, "And we mustn't be afraid of luxury - there are no pictures of poverty in this book."

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About this blog

I’m a Libra so I’m all about pretty things. We of the scales sign know what we like, and our standards are high.

So I can’t help but love fashion – one day I will get that Diane von Furstenberg wrap and those Christian Louboutin shoes.

And fragrances? My favorite right now is Chanel Mademoiselle. As for makeup, can we say MAC?

So let’s thank the Greek goddess of beauty, Aphrodite, that a true fashionista can find everything she needs right here in Philly.

I’ve covered fashion here for six years, and I have traveled to New York, Los Angeles and Paris to write about local and national designers. Let me tell you, there is no place where people wear midnight Eagles green or Phillies red with such wild abandon as they do on the west side of the Ben Franklin Bridge.

Sound familiar? This blog is for you.

Reach Elizabeth at

Elizabeth Wellington Fashion Columnist
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