Green and Venice were only two of Diana Vreeland’s “obsessions,” which are retraced in “Diana Vreeland After Diana Vreeland,” an exhibition that opened March 10 and will run through June 25. It is the first major show dedicated to the legendary fashion editor, and one that was not conceived as a retrospective but as a critical snapshot of Vreeland’s work.
In her lifetime, legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland had a passionate love affair with Venice, so it’s only fitting that the first major show devoted to her work would be housed within the lush confines of the city’s Palazzo Fortuny.
On display at Diana Vreeland After Diana Vreeland are stunning pieces from luminaries such as Yves Saint Laurent, Missoni, Emilio Pucci, Chanel, Irene Galitzine, Valentino, and Paco Rabanne, some culled from Vreeland’s own closet and some on loan from private collections or the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, where Vreeland was a consultant from 1971 until her death in 1989, as well as books and magazines from the editor’s library and portraits by Christian Bérard and Cecil Beaton.
During her tenure at the Met, she organized multiple exhibitions and helped shape the course of this acclaimed wing in one of the world’s greatest museums. During her years at Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, Vreeland was instrumental in ushering in a new, more casual era of fashion, discovering influential stars such as Lauren Bacall and Edie Sedgwick.
Precious green designs by Yves Saint Laurent, Paco Rabanne and Irene Galitzine stand near an 18th-century green corseted gown worn by a mannequin whose head is clad in a green veil, all in a glass cabinet against a backdrop of exquisite fabrics and paintings at the 15th-century Palazzo Fortuny in Venice.
The garments are shown in Italy for the first time, several belonging to Vreeland and others loaned by the Met or private collections and company archives, together with magazines and books curated by Vreeland and portraits of the editor by Cecil Beaton and Christian Bérard.
Now you can see her handiwork in person as you stroll the marbled floors of the Palazzo Fortuny. Breathe deep: in honor of Vreeland’s affinity for gorgeous scents, world-famous perfumer Frédéric Malle has created a special sandalwood fragrance that will be sprayed throughout the exhibit.
Diane Vreeland and Andy Warhol in Venice 1973
“I want to die young—at seventy. I want to die young—at eighty. I want to die young—at ninety.”– Diane Vreeland interviewed in the new Diana Vreeland by Lisa Immordino Vreeland
Diana Vreeland After Diana Vreeland
Campo San Beneto, Venice 30124
011 39 041 520 90 70
Runs through June 25th, 2012
Photos: Courtesy of WWD