Published Oct 18, 2012It is remarkable that a woman known for her unattractive face could go on to become a glamour icon of the 20th Century, yet that is precisely how Diana Vreeland will be remembered by fashion aficionados. As a self-made woman that went on to become editor of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, her life's story is one of vision, personality and style triumphing over nature.
In Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, Lisa Immordino Vreeland (Diana's grandson's wife) set out to tell the story of the fabled fashionista, tracing her roots in the '20s through to her subsequent rise to fame and celebrity status.
Predominantly driven by the voice of Diana herself, the documentary utilizes audio recordings that were created when she was writing her autobiography, pairing the audio track with visuals that punctuate her storied past. Voiceover documentary commentary is old hat, yet hearing the tale from the subject's mouth provides authenticity while also ensuring Diana's flamboyance seeps from her words.
Diana is credited with introducing new forms of beauty to the masses, having discovered models such as Twiggy, Edie Sedgwick and Cher, breaking the mould of the status quo while bringing imperfection and oddities to the forefront, such as a girl's freckles or Barbra Streisand's infamous nose.
With the primary director being a member of the family, it's not surprising that the film borders on the fluff side, glossing over the fact that Diana was far from motherly and was incredibly preoccupied with her career. Having two co-directors not related to the Vreeland clan could have helped the film dig a bit deeper, but instead we're sadly left with a picture that never touches upon who Diana Vreeland was beyond superficial flamboyance and spectacle.
Peppered with plenty of archival footage and interviews, it's apparent the director used her familial connections to gain optimum insight, also incorporating Diana's two aged sons into the slew of talking heads that reminisce and share tales of the woman from days gone by.
The Eye Has to Travel does a good job capturing the tale of this compelling figure, offering up plenty of material for fans of the icon while also giving those being introduced to her an interesting story. (eOne)