i think somebody hacked this blog because i cannot imagine you seriously wrote this… i hear french people don't take showers too. and i hear americans, they all wear cowboys hats. seriously… no hate, just surprised you go that path… it's not even funny. and am french living in NY, i.e. sarcastic and quite open to a good joke on my peers…
Again…..this is simply part of the granduer that is Diana Vreeland!
Although I cannot speak to the validity of this statement, or the seriousness in which she spoke it, for some reason I just don't think that Ms. Vreeland really meant this! She was a humorous person, and it could have been a very tongue-in-cheek statement. To what it referred, I know not, but I think she was joking!
Further, part of maintaining an air of aloofness and grandeur is calculation. I think that Diana knew this and used it to "add fuel to the fire", so to speak. Karl Lagerfeld does the same thing!
Yes, eccentric though he may be (well, according to some – I don't think so. I love it!), I doubt that the man is as wild and far-fetched as he would have people believe. It's part of the mystique that goes along with such fabled people. I'm sure Diana knew this, as well.
I am puzzled by all these people who find declarations of lavish excess to demonstrate how amazing DV was. Even if they were tongue-in-cheek… I mean, do you really judge a person positively on how far they can take their self-indulgentness? It seems kind of cossetted and boring.
In Belgium people are even worse :-) We fill the bath tub with wather champagne and a little bit pamplemousse… the first time my Belgian wife did this i was wondering, now we do this all the time, she stays nice gold blonde and i am not getting older anymore…
@angry French New Yorker… You confirm the lack of humor of your species
S. J. Perelman, one of the great old New Yorker humorists, had the pleasure of reading Vreeland's "Why Don't You" pieces when they were brand new. In April, 1938, he was moved to a rebuttal. A couple of choice slices:
"If a perfectly strange lady came up to you on the street and demanded 'Why don't you travel with a little raspberry-colored cashmere blanket to throw over yourself in hotels and trains?' the chances are that you would turn on your heel with dignity and hit her with a bottle. Yet that is exactly what has been happening for the past twenty months in the pages of a little raspberry-colored magazine called Harper's Bazaar …
"The first time I noticed this 'Why Don't You?' department was a year ago last August while hungrily devouring news of the midsummer Paris openings. Without any preamble came the stinging query 'Why don't you rinse your blond child's hair in dead champagne, as they do in France? Or pat her face gently with cream before she goes to bed, as they do in England?' After a quick look into the nursery I decided to let my blond child go to hell her own way, as they do in America …"
Just one more: "'Why don't you try the effect of diamond roses and ribbons flat on your head, as Garbo wears them when she says goodbye to Armand in their country retreat?' asked Miss Sly Boots in a low, thrilling voice." Perelman describes how he took up this suggestion; it ended badly.
This is a famous question from Vreeland's famous mag feature. Ever the provocateur, Vreeland does not expect the reader to take her supposed suggestions literally; rather,she intends to jolt her readers, to make us laugh, argue, huff or humpph, and otherwise wake up. Yes, this suggestion/question is outrageous–and Vreeland knows it. She's inviting us to, likewise, risk being outrageous–THAT is the real suggestion she offers.
and am french living in NY, i.e. sarcastic and quite open to a good joke on my peers…
…and apparently not so good with reading comprehension. Otherwise, you would understand that this has nothing to do with badmouthing the French. Au contraire, it's a silly but flattering tale that evokes the mystique that the French have for most Americans; worldly, a bit sensual and decadent, chic.