I wish there were a lot more fashion-related documentaries. The last one I watched before The Eye Has To Travel was HBO's About Face: Supermodels Then And Now, which left me begging for more. A couple of months later I had the pleasure of attending a press screening of Diana Vreeland- The Eye Has To Travel, by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, a film that attempts to bring us a real and human portrait of Vreeland twenty three years after her death.
Have you read D.V., Diana Vreeland's "as told" autobiography from the 1980s? If you did you'll recognize a lot of the footage (mostly in the beginning of the The Eye Has To Travel) as recordings of the conversations that became the book. I thought D.V. was wonderful and utterly outrageous. The stories, from Charles Lindbergh flying over her head to intimate knowledge of Edward VIII's abdication, were just too much. The film actually addresses this side of Diana Vreeland's personality: the storytelling, the exaggerations, the (too) grand gestures. Not that we'll ever know the whole truth, but Lisa Immordino Vreeland (the wife of Mrs. Vreeland 's grandson) brings us closer and shows us a few intimate glimpses of the woman who was fashion, including some of the pain and vulnerability- both hers and her children's.
Then there's fashion, colors, celebs and glitz. Footage from photoshoots, interviews with fashion designers and celebrated photographers all remind us of Vreeland's larger-than-life personality and creativity. There's the appropriate amount of nostalgia for decades long-gone and for the pre-Wintour world. The film creates a rich fabric that captures one's imagination. It's also incredibly fun to watch because Mrs. Vreeland was a fascinating character with a brilliant sense of humor that comes through again and again. My husband, who accompanied me to the screening of The Eye Has To Travel, didn't know anything about Diana Vreeland except for the very basic fact that she was an iconic fashion editor. He enjoyed the movie tremendously and suggested that I end this review by saying "drag your Significant Other to watch it". So I do.
Diana Vreeland- The Eye Has To Travel, Director and Producer: Lisa Immordino Vreeland, is now at the theaters (Angelika Film Center, Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and City Cinemas on Third Avenue). Hopefully it'll go on wider distribution soon enough.