Diana friedlander rises as the “queen of fashion”


Diana friedlander rises as the “queen of fashion”

Diana friedlander was in trouble as a child; Her mother often told her that she was ugly. But she became editor of American fashion magazine and one of the country’s most respected fashion ICONS. Her life was captured in a new biography, the fashion queen: the life of Diana freeland. The moderator Michel Martin held talks with the author Amanda Mackenzie Stuart.


NPR news has a deeper understanding. I’m Celeste Headlee. Michelle Martin is under the weather. Despite the challenges of the economic times, many of us wear New Year’s eve. In the next few minutes, we will focus on the unique history of American fashion. It’s about to start talking about why fashion is so important to many African americans.

But first, look at the woman who shaped American fashion, the iconic Diana freeland. She spent more than 20 years in Harper’s Bazaar before she became the head of American fashion. Later, in the metropolitan museum of art friedlander introduced breakthrough clothing items, she in childhood is full of pain, insecurity and mother said she was ugly, after finished it all. Her story is included in a new book, “fashion queen: the life of Diana freeland”. Recently Michel Martin sat down with Amanda MacKenzie Stuart.


For those of us who are not fashionistas, can you simply give us an idea of Diana’s influence in fashion?

AMANDA MACKENZIE STUART: her fashion career spanned decades. That’s the first thing. Until mid 30 s, when she joined in 1936 when a special magazine “Harper’s bazaar”, she walked into the period of the late, until 1962, when she stayed there, rather than as its editor, but as its editor fashion editor. Then she went to Vogue, where she became chief editor. As you said, as you say, in the ’60 s turbulent times, it is a important work, great changes have taken place in this era, great changes have taken place in style, culture, great changes have taken place in her and help track and report the real changes, a very profound way.

Then, in an unusual third act at the metropolitan museum of clothing, she launched a series of groundbreaking costume shows, once again showing them in completely different ways.

So it was a surprising career, when her background was rarely employed by women.

Martin: you did write a really heartbreaking story about her growth and her growth - she treated her in a way that I think many people would think of abuse today. Can you talk a little bit more?

Stuart: Diana freeland is an ordinary child in a beautiful family. Her father is a very handsome man. Her mother was a very famous New York socialite, and her sister was a very, very beautiful and easy child. Diana is a difficult person, she always thought of her mother because of her looks and feel ashamed, and to make matters worse, her mother is a little elegant, often is not there, of course has very strong flirting with people, if it is not completely, and held the family together is a nanny, he simply responded to her mother for her, and always around Diana look like what kind of problem, and is an ordinary child.

Martin: do you think it’s ready? Or do you think it’s going to make her fashion?

Stewart: she really has a very sad and difficult - really is between her mother and the edge of the abusive relationship, and development is a complex, is she developed a parallel imagine she was able to escape life, we can see in her diary, even when she was 14 years old will happen. She spent hours studying the idealized version she wanted.

As she grew up, she went into her teenage youth, she became a debut in society, she is actually the quite heavy adolescents and that she just imagine the gap between the attractive young woman. Entering this position, in fact, she managed to find herself the most gorgeous and handsome husband.

Martin: when it comes to fantasy, she wrote a very successful column called “why not you”. Can you describe it? I mean, it’s full of crazy ideas. Can you describe it?

Stewart: yes. Well, she is married to reed friedlander, shortly after they went to London, she’s just with all these people meet, see what they do, when she returned to New York, gave her such a great visual and cultural and social education, it is she didn’t really - she didn’t want to leave London. She didn’t want to leave Europe, but her husband’s work brought them back to New York. Carmel snow, editor of Harper’s Bazaar, discovered her talent. Carmel snow convinced her - I think what happened - to start writing down her thoughts on what she was interested in Europe, and that’s why this isn’t your column.

Why don’t you give your favorite band leader’s wife an entire jazz band made up of Marcus bracelets and Cabershaw emerald green? Why don’t you put your cigarette and your badge as a famous explorer on this penguin?


Martin: ok. Now, you have to tell me. Is she kidding? Is this a send?

Stewart: no, it’s just an idea, in fact, in these thoughts - these crazy ideas - they’re very attractive for doing things - very cheap.

Martin: this point is now in 1936 and 1937, when columns were most frequent, and you pointed out that the United States was still recovering from the Wall Street crash.

Stewart: yes.

Martin: and it’s on the verge of another serious recession, but the column is very popular.

Stewart: yes.

Martin: why is that?

Stuart: I think people like to dump the cheap and happy ideas that lurk there. It’s fun. I really think the main reason is to make everyone laugh.

Martin: I think one of the things that people always think about this fashion world is that it’s really hard, she’s not easy.

Stewart: with decades of development, I think she’s become more demanding, she’s a very good team player. I mean, she during the war to work with the rest of Mr Harper’s bazaar, but she is becoming more difficult to the young man, I think her attitude towards young women are always stronger than younger men. But if she sees something she likes, or see a she thinks she is very interesting point, as far as I know, all this has changed, once you go through this wall, people will find her attractive completely. If you don’t, your life will be very difficult if you work for her.

Martin: she’s very interested in this world, I want to play a - I just want to from the documentary “Diana freeland: eyes must travel trailer play a short video, then I will - you can - you can also hear the sound of her voice. This is.

(documentary “DIANA VREELAND: eyes travel”)

DIANA VREELAND: the fashion world is changing. You can even see the coming clothes revolution. You can see and feel everything in your clothes.

Stuart: she knew early on that clothes aren’t just clothes. They always reflect what’s going on in our society and whether we like it, and we do it every time we wear it.

Martin: does Diana Flemish have a place in the fashion world today?

Stuart: I think she might have a place as creative director now, as an editor. I think she will. Her clothes and fashion sense are outstanding, but her style is as wide as possible. With such imagination and the ability to inspire other highly creative people, I would certainly have her place, but probably not the editor.

Martin: Amanda Mackenzie Stewart is the author of the new biography “fashion queen: Diana freeland’s life”. She is very friendly and can join us from NPR’s office in London.

Amanda MacKenzie Stuart, thank you so much for joining us. I wish you a happy holiday.

Stuart: for you. thank you