by director and producer Lisa Immordino Vreeland
I wish I had met Diana Vreeland, as I have always marveled at her accomplishments. When I met her grandson, Alexander, and fell in love with him, I soon found myself a member of her family. It was at this time that I became immersed in her world and began to hear stories from her sons and grandsons. Their stories were hilarious accounts of their adventures with her, her illustrious career and her attitude toward life and family.
I got to know Diana Vreeland through her family's eyes but wanted to know her on my own terms. I realized her real strengths and subtleties needed to be conveyed in a three-dimensional platform in which she could come alive. Film is the most obvious and effective medium to communicate Mrs. Vreeland's unique and visual journey, so I decided to make a documentary about her fabled life. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel captures her life visually through a multitude of media including film, photography, animation, graphics, text, sound and music. Vreeland's own voice and persona—strong, eloquent and often much exaggerated—guide us through her life, adventures, accomplishments and passions.
I soon discovered that Diana Vreeland was much more than just "the empress of fashion." She used her magazines and costume shows as a platform to convey her imaginative perspective on life. Her philosophy was much deeper than what she put forward in her pages at Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. Her perseverance and determination showed us that we could dare to think in a different way. She has reminded us that it is important to imagine how life can be different. She lived for new experiences and new ideas, and was able to transmit that to us. She used her passion for the world as an instrument to let us expand and enrich our minds, as I set out to do with this film.
I hope you enjoy the time you spend with her.