Renowned fashion journalist Diana Vreeland’s grandson has made a collection of diverse and bold fragrances in her honour
Diana Vreeland became a predominant figure in the fashion industry for writing for Harpers Bazaar and her role as editor-in-chief of Vogue. Twenty-sevenn years after her death, her grandson is paying homage to her with a collection of Diana inspired fragrances, exclusively for Selfridges.
Rising to fame with her Harpers Bazaar column “Why Don’t You?” in which she offered up a selection of bizarre suggestions, including “What don’t you ash your blond child’s hair in dead champagne, as they do in France?”, she was not afraid of controversy. Considered as one of the people responsible for discovering the late Lauren Bacall, who sadly passed away this week, she also acted as an advisor to Jackie Kennedy during JFK’s campaign, helping the first-lady find a style that would make her appeal to voters. Following her resignation at Harpers Bazaar, she had an eight year stint as the editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazine, where she was said to have discovered Edie Sedgwick. It’s undeniable that she created a vast legacy within fashion journalism and become one of the most respected figures in the industry.
The fragrances created by her grandson reflect her legacy through five different fragrances, sold in bold, vibrant bottles, a choice made to reflect Diana’s great love of colour. With names including ‘Absolutely Vital’ and ‘Perfectly Marvellous’, these are reflective of Diana’s greatest quotes from her most famous writings.
The diversity of scents means there is something for everyone, from the more natural green ‘crushed leaves’ freshness to tones of vanilla and Egyptian rose. Here, we speak to Alexander Vreeland about his journey in creating the perfect Diana Vreeland-esque scent.
What was the initial starting point for the fragrance?
My grandmother loved fragrance and lived in a totally scented world. We started with a 35 page olfactive brief for the perfumers on what we wanted the Diana Vreeland perfume collection to be. This included story boards for six fragrances based on stories, travels and passions of my grandmother, some of which ended up being photo shoots while at Vogue while others were the seeds of exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. My wife Lisa and I selected of our favorite propositions and started to polish the fragrances through weekly meetings with the perfumers in their offices.
Tell us, how did you go about realising Diana’s scent?
My grandmother had numerous scents and enjoyed changing perfumes. We wanted to create fragrances that were not historic re-interpretations but wonderful eau de parfums that can worn today.
Can you explain the choices behind the names?
My grandmother’s books, interviews, memos and quotes resonate with a new generation who are passionate about fashion and aesthetics. We selected quotes of hers to give each fragrance a more personal touch. Each fragrance also has an additional quote of hers subtly placed in the packaging.
That’s great, and what about the bottle and the colour ways?
My grandmother was passionate about colours. She is known for red but in fact she wrote in great depth about a multitude of colours that she was enamoured with. Fabien Baron created the coloured bottles with contrasting tassels as an homage to her love for colours.
Who do you see wearing these fragrances?
My grandmother has a devoted following all around the world. We wanted to appeal to a younger fashionable person as well as a more classic luxury customer.
Available from 21st August exclusively at Selfridges.
Words: Ryan Cahill