Monday, November 15, 2010


First of all, apologies for taking so long to get back to you. D.V. was on an extended sojourn at the Paris Crillon; something to do with The Collections, or Fittings, or Appointments with her vendeuse at Chanel. Something terribly important anyway. But she’s here now, rouged to the hilt and weighted with jewels, ready to answer some questions.

Has anyone seen the newly published re-edition of Allure? (The only book related to D.V. I do not yet possess - I've been holding out for a first edition.) It’s much smaller than the original book, with a foreword by Marc Jacobs. I thought M.J. was a very strange choice to write the foreword, though I suppose they were looking at it from the ‘Andy Warhol of our time’ angle. I only flipped through the book in the Claire de Rouen shop in Charing Cross Road the other day, but I found myself agreeing with what M.J. was saying - that what he and D.V. share is a love of unconventional beauty and character; of feeling that something is more interesting and maybe even more beautiful for that. I think that’s why I like D.V. so much too.

So, ready? For anyone not familiar, the Ask D.V. feature is where I use Diana Vreeland’s memoirs to answer readers’ questions.

Mia's sister said...
Dear D.V., I'm getting tired of following new fashions, as most of them are already a dejà vu to me, I saw them already and now I think they do nothing at all for me. As I am not getting any younger, can I just stick to what I really like and ignore fashion?

 Mia's sister

Funny you should say that Mia’s sister, as D.V. herself says (about the thirties and revival of), “It’s always dejà vu to me, but then a lot of things are. The point is that it was dejà vu to me then.”
D.V. herself dressed in a kind of uniform during the Vogue years when she was older.: very minimalist, the same pieces in beige or black, and her Verdura cuffs.

D.V. also said, “The only real elegance is in the mind. If you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it.”

Bombay Beauty said...
Dear D.V.,

Do you have any advice for how to find balance in life? I mean between the need for work and making a living on the one hand and life and leisure on the other? B.B.

D.V. never arrived at the office before 12 - she spent hours in her bathroom in the mornings - she claimed she got half the day’s work done there. But then she never had a business lunch - instead she had a bridge table brought in with a peanut butter and marmalade sandwich and a shot of scotch. D.V. wasn’t messing around: she really needed to work and earn money. But I suppose she also did something she was passionate about, and was able to travel the world as part of her work.

Toni Marie said...
Dear D.V.

 Is it very unwise to drop one of your majors in college while halfway through to start on another major that truly speaks to your heART?

Starting Over, Toni Marie

This is such a tough one, and I imagine you've probably sorted it out without D.V.’s advice by now. However, D.V. didn't fit in at the Brearley school and was sent to dancing school, with the Russians, which she adored. She says, "I went back to school and I didn't give a damn about anything else.

Ginger Jane said...
What should I do with my hair? Should I just work at keeping it low maintenance et al? Or should I die it a sort of peach colour?

Thanks D.V.


The most exceptional gift D.V. thought she had was for colour (she devotes half a chapter to it). She also says, “ When I say “orange” I don’t mean yellow-orange, I mean red-orange-the orange of Bakst and Diaghilev, the orange that changed the century. As you can see, she feels strongly about colour. I feel fairly certain she would advise you to go for the peach.

Bombay Beauty said...
I haven't been to the gym in over a month. Would D.V. absolve or condemn? xo bb

(D.V.’s transcriber cannot imagine BB at the gym. Archery - yes, cross country skiing - yes, fencing - perhaps. But the gym?!) D.V. only believed in her personal made up ‘unconscious’ yoga - and a good regular massage. But she does say, “Any form of rhythm is absolutely essential. I mean we are a physical people, we do count on action, mood, and the wit of the body and so on to survive, don’t we? Do you know what I think about a lot? Surfing!” (There’s an idea.)

{photo credit: Louise Dahl-Wolfe 1942}


Vagabondiana said...

Fantastic x

Claire * Lola Is Beauty said...

Vagabondiana - thank you, I'm honoured actually! x

Toni Marie said...

Oh how I love this feature of yours. Thanks so much for taking the time to channel D.V. to answer my question!

Bombay Beauty said...

Absolved! Thank you DV! xo bb

Jolie Adele said...

Wonderful, sound advice as per usual! Love it! Merci!

Ginger Jane said...

Peach it is! Stoked. Thanks DV, and Transcriber.

Anonymous said...

@Bombay Beauty: well, I would say semi-absolved... why don't you take up fencing instead of going to the gym?

erica said...

good advice about spending your mornings in the bathroom. and scotch with peanut butter and marmelade? genius!

Ally said...

Fantastic advice! Love the slow morning spent in the bathroom and including a bit of rhythm into your routine.