One of the true innovators in fashion has to be in my mind Diana Vreeland, she was not a beautiful woman but she had amazing vision when it came to style both with her own look and in the pages of the magazines through the Thirties to the Sixties.

“You gotta have style. It helps you down the stairs. It helps you get up in the morning. It’s a way of life.”

Vreeland¬† was born in Paris but her family emigrated to the States at the outbreak of the First World War.¬† Carmel Snow, the editor of Haper’s Bazaar magazine was so impressed by her sense of style that she gave her the job as fashion editor on the spot – they clashed many times over the years but Carmen never once doubted Diana’s fashion sense.

During her time at Bazaar she was know for her “Why don’t you…..” column and caused controversy with such frivolous quips such as “Why don’t you wash your child’s blonde hair in champagne as the French do” or – one of my favourites – “Why don’t you wear purple kid gloves with a black day suit.” (I am on the search now for purple kid gloves!)

After leaving Bazaar in 1962 she became Editor in Chief at Vogue and again clashed with the bosses for the amount of money she spent for fashion shoots, taking her models to India and the desert to get “the right look”.

Having been fired from Vogue in 1971, she worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 1974, again putting on extravagant exhibitions of costumes through the ages and from around the world.

Diana was a maverick, elegant and one of a kind – her influence in fashion still holds strong today, and many stylist and fashion editors credit her for changing the way that fashion spreads are shot today.

In her time she discovered Lauren Bacall and put her to work as a model for Bazaar in, she advised Jackie Onassis on how to dress, and gave us Manolo Blahnik by putting his designs into Vogue for the first time.

So thank you Diana for being a true vintage Queen and an inspiration to us all.

The Fabulous Miss K is Karen James Welton, a freelance stylist with 20 years experience in fashion and beauty. Based in Norwich, she works both locally and in London. She is the former fashion editor of Urbane Magazine, has worked with Life Matters EEN, the Iceini Guide and is a writer and stylist for Vintage Life Magazine.

She currently runs styling vintage styling workshops and shopping trips and organises fashion shows, fairs and events.

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