Jewel of the day: Diana Vreeland Atelier Swarovski collection
Rummaging about the Internet is a lot like wandering through a maze. This post started as I was perusing one of my favourite makeup and perfume blogs, www.thenonblonde.com, and their top post was about a new documentary on Diana Vreeland, The Eye Has To Travel. They linked to the trailer, which piqued my interest in seeing this film when it arrives (only in theatres, the trailer noted sternly) in September.
In a nutshell, Diana Vreeland was an eccentric, a visionary, a hugely influential fashion editor, and a style icon in her own right. She was given to marvelous pronouncements both in print and in person, and favoured vivid reds, blacks, diamonds, and well, joy. A high point of a long ago visit to NY for me was spotting her striding across the floor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art when she was their costume curator.
Seeing the trailer got me thinking about her fabulous jewellery, particularly her Fulco de Verdura Maltese cross bracelets. So I went in search of a photo. I thought about using one of the Kenneth Jay Lane “inspired by” cuffs to show how her style (she wore one of each fabuous Verdura cuff on each wrist) had been appropriated by Lane for his costume copies. I have one of the black cuffs in my collection, and a gold one for sale on my site.
I found various posts, none showing the bracelets in question. When I spotted the web site set up by her family to promote Vreeland, the upcoming documentary and the book of the same name, I clicked. And then I saw that Swarovski is offering a collection inspired by Vreeland this fall. I got excited. I did some more digging, and found images from the collection on the Vreeland Facebook page. And then I became disappointed.
Vreeland’s style was about elegance and exuberance and though sometimes perhaps over the top, she also knew when to draw the line and, more importantly, where to draw the eye.
The Swarovski collection inspired by her draws on three themes: militaria and crosses, the 1920s, and Crystal Celebration, using oversized stones. None of the photos I saw particularly draws Vreeland to mind, and none of them is instilling much of a need to run out and buy.
A well-known Vreeland quote says, “Style – all who have it share one thing: originality.” It would have been a fitting tribute for Vreeland to have had a costume jewellery collection capture her own true originality.