I just finished the latest and much needed biography on Diana Vreeland entitled “Empress of Fashion” by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart. It was fortuitously my holiday reading and completely engrossing. I highly recommend it as a fascinating read, a well rounded picture of DV herself (one that has never been publicly put forth to my knowledge) as well as vastly entertaining. Many women could use the lessons of DV now as I watch feminism trip up the lives of today’s forty plus generation of women. That is another topic not totally relevant here.
I was struck at the end of the book by Mackenzie’s perceptive comment about DV:
“…her real interest was in the woman who wanted to close the gap: the gap between the way she was and the way she wanted to be. The question that interested Diana was: how do you do it?” (p.327, Empress of Fashion, Amanda MacKenzie Stuart)
As I start to immerse myself in finding other options of sating myself I keep coming back to how do I get the inside out and the outside in? How do I get the world of my mind, my imagination and fantasy unlocked so I can share it with others?
The grip fashion has on me is definitely not one of consumerism even though that is how I have been exercising it. DV proves that. At its best, it is about sharing the fantasy, connection.
It is thumbs and our imaginations that set us humans apart from the animals. Our ability to communicate that in explicit, subtle, complex and painfully beautiful detail is our gift. I feel driven to exercise that gift and experience the deep gratification of connecting with others and not shopping allows me to see what I love in new ways opening up unknown possibilities to me and places in my mind I never knew existed. That is pretty exciting, even more than a new pair of shoes, at least that thrills me for today. 🙂