"Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel" Documents Fashion Designer's Gifts for Dramatic Presentation | New in Film | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Film & TV

"Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel" Documents Fashion Designer's Gifts for Dramatic Presentation

Raconteuse, epigrammatist, and mythomaniac, peerless fashion editor Diana Vreeland (1903 – 89) might have loved words as much as she loved Balenciaga. As Harold Koda of the Met's Costume Institute, for which Vreeland served as a special consultant from 1973 until her death, memorably says in this often-charming nonfiction bauble, "I don't think she had the average person's relationship to the English language." At its best, this first film by Lisa Immordino Vreeland showcases D.V.'s spectacular gifts for dramatic presentation and proclamation, as evident in her various TV interviews throughout the decades and present-day remembrances by those who worked with her. At its worst, the documentary further indulges its own nepotism: The director gratuitously films her young daughter reading aloud from her great-grandmother's outré "Why Don't You?" column from Harper's Bazaar. But the outsized ideas, creativity, and spirit of this birdlike, unconventional-looking woman — called "my ugly little monster" by her mother, Vreeland resembles John Hurt in a jet-black wig — still dominate a project occasionally lacking the same attributes.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Melissa Anderson is the senior film critic at the Village Voice, for which she first began writing in 2000. Her work also appears in the publications of the Voice’s film partner, Voice Media Group: LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.