READING: Before Anna Wintour, there was Diana Vreeland
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American Vogue’s editor Diana Vreeland favoured French shoemaker Roger Vivier. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

WE KNOW THAT VOGUE sets the rules for women’s fashion, and no one personifies style more than its editor-in-chief.

Incumbent editor Anna Wintour is all about visual cues. She can’t remember the last time she wore anything other than a Manolo. Here at Keyyes, we can refresh her memory. The high fashion priestess just stamped her signature on a pair of Air Jordan, collaborating with Nike for a women’s capsule collection. 

Wintour’s predecessor, Diana Vreeland, favoured French shoemaker Roger Vivier, a shoe sculptor who also made shoes for Queen Elizabeth II — a ruby-studded, gold kidskin pumps for the coronation ceremony in 1953. 

Oft-spotted with Roger Vivier-clad feet, the late Vreeland admired Vivier’s daring so much she gave his works a place at a 1977 exhibition she curated at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute in New York.

It is perhaps fitting that Vivier’s outgoing creative director Bruno Frisoni pays homage to his mentor’s benefactor. At Frisoni’s last show, the eclectic designer shared how Vreeland’s “mixed influences” inspired his designs for the Fall Winter 2018 collection.

“ I took inspiration from Diana Vreeland, who mixed influences, from Fortuny’s Venice and Baroque jewellery, from the richness of Andalusian-Arabic and Moroccan cultures with the use of passementerie, and from a ’60s mod mood,” Frisoni, who is credited for reviving Roger Vivier during his 16-year tenure.

The designer is leaving to venture out of his comfort zone, telling media at some point one wishes to “place yourself in a dangerous scenario, (when) you are feeling too comfy in what you’re doing.” 

I can’t imagine becoming bored with red – it would be like becoming bored with the person you love.

Diana Vreeland
Emerald green tassels adorn the heeled sandals, the inward-curving heel called the choc heel is the label’s signature. Photo Courtesy of Roger Vivier

The plush bag is also available in red, Diana Vreeland’s favourite colour. Photo Courtesy of Roger Vivier

The Moroccan themed shoes and bags are cloaked in tassels and rich colours of emerald green and deep purple — elements characteristic of the Mediterranean country. 

Morocco holds a special place in Frisoni’s heart, who is of Italian origin, and told media that the “most important area of the world” for him is the Mediterranean Sea.

Vreeland herself was also obsessed with Morocco, immersing herself in the country as colourful as her personality. A perspicacious tastemaker, Vreeland made Morocco’s traditional dress trend. She wrote about the floor-grazing Caftan in Vogue after discovering the robe on a trip there in the sixties. Her diplomat son Frederick Vreeland is a former US ambassador to Morocco.

Frisoni’s swan song collection is replete with red. Who doesn’t love the colour of passion, life and cherries? Vreeland was so fond of red, she famously wanted to decorate her apartment to look like “a garden in hell”

Her favourite shoemaker Vivier also custom-made a pair of knee-high python boots — in red, of course. 

A noted fashion columnist with a way with words, Vreeland said:  “I can’t imagine becoming bored with red – it would be like becoming bored with the person you love.”

Roger Vivier’s outgoing creative director Bruno Frisoni’s last collection is inspired by Diana Vreeland. Photo courtesy of Getty Images


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