Saturday, April 23, 2016

The 'Extravagants' Of The Market: A Diana Vreeland Memo

Memo from Diana Vreeland
February 24, 1969
I think that the most completely constructive thing that Vogue can do for its readers is when we show a group of inexpensive clothes for summer — we do a group of really cheap dresses.... for example — JUNE if we can do 10 pages of dresses for under $30.00.
You say it is not possible to dress for under $30.00.......
To put it frankly, everybody wears them — it is just that we don't show it.
Whose market will have these clothes? I am speaking of Banlon houses like Nestroy, etc. I cannot believe that by interesting a certain group of the market — perhaps they are Kezia's houses — please — check — that people would be interested in doing something for us as this special price.
With health, a good figure and brown skin in the summer, people should spend very little money on their clothes.
Could these people investigate at once.... I understand that we are now through with the selection of the extravagants of the market... until we start going into autumn. By through, I mean we are through looking at them though certainly we will put some of the beautiful organzas in, etc....
Nylon, dacron, synthetics, hersey....
I would like to have an answer from each and every one of you as to where these things could be found, and what you are going to do about them....
In the case of Babs and Baron de Gunzburg — they will certainly say "this is not my market". The point is that it is your Fashion Department and you should make suggestions to the girls....
Mrs. Mellon can make suggestions from her shirt collection — the shirts done in cotton this summer.

Visionaire 37: Vreeland Memos [Box Set] [Hardcover]

The mysterious package  of over 400 memos dashed off by Ms. Vreeland to her secretary as she made up for the day, sent anonymously to Visionaire, became the red boxed set of 160 memos of Visionaire 37 in 2002. And made me fall in love with her all over again. Frivolous, imperious, whimsical and extraordinarily pragmatic ... her delicious why don't you's and joyful understanding that perhaps even a color could define a season and all the grand collections. 

Why not a summer dress, a cotton shirt, the "nylon, dacron, synthetics, hersey" ... (I think hersey referred to a particular textile manufacturer, not the name of a new fabric). 


  1. God love her, and you, for sharing this. Could you forward it to Anna and ask if she'd do a 2012 version, sort of a "Cheap Dresses Under $300"? It would be fascinating to see if the magazine could pull it off, methinks she would have a tough time selling it to staff, now so out of touch as to be in another galaxy.

    Sending you a smile,

  2. Oops! It is I in the comment above, I merely clicked the wrong things & signed it with my other blog credentials. :)


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