She talked passionately and often very aggressively about fashion. I sat at her feet and learned. She was especially outspoken about New York fashion, which she felt had grown from what she once referred to as 'the slime of Seventh Avenue'. I loved her because her attitudes were so young and irreverent, and she had a marvellous sense of humour (something conspicuously lacking in today's grandes dames of high fashion) and a great sense of irony – completely lost in today's fashion world so dominated by money. Diana Vreeland believed in quality, dreams and integrity. She didn't give a thought to money. Which would, of course, make her unemployable in fashion today.
She would be appalled at the philosophy behind most magazines now and the way editors and publishers have since her day contrived to tie their own hands so effectively.
We were once talking about advertising. Diana was not terribly interested in it and preferred to concentrate on areas she felt had more scope for imagination and creativity.
'Did you have much to do with the advertising manager when you were
editing Vogue?' I asked.
The eyes became as big as saucers. 'Certainly not. Wouldn't recognise him if I saw him. I didn't even know his name!'
'But you must have passed in the corridor or met in the elevator?'
A look part horror, part pity and part bewilderment.
'Advertising personnel using the editorial elevator? NEVER!'
Other voices, other rooms....