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TOME TO OWN:
DIANA VREELAND:
MEMOS, THE VOGUE YEARS

In the 1960s and ’70s, the way to text was by sending a memorandum–interoffice short-form notes to help move projects, people and ideas along. And Vogue Magazine Editor Diana (pronouned Dee-ana) Vreeland showered the style bible’s staff in little cerebral nuggets to chew on via her memos.  The notes don’t so much read as demands “get me leather fringe everything by noon!” but as reminders, conversation starters and the occasional culture truth bomb. Many of her memos start, “What about …” or “Please don’t forget …” or “Please look at” and cover everything from color to fabrics to photographers.

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But my favorite finds in the book are the notes on zeitgeist that we see playing out on our TVs via Mad Men but remain evergreen in youth culture (despite the media’s recent push for normcore to make happen).

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In a January 7, 1969 memo, she writes:

RE: “LET’S BE UNSAFE”

This has suddenly crossed my mind as the way to be…

I’m not speaking of money in the bank– I am speaking of appearance.

Let us to the whole hog… Let us get with it…

I feel that bring things close to the chest and being too careful is holding back and keeping this middle class country…

Where are the great gestures?

Where is the great luxury?

You have to to hand it to the kids–they have got it.

First, they are generous– they will give you anything off their backs…

Secondly, they will tell you anything you want to know.

Thirdly, they wear anything they feel like wearing…

They are not running on the safety program…

 

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