Twentieth Century style arbiter Diana Vreeland – known for her sartorial eye, image-making, bon mots and outlandish home furnishings – is still shaping the way women dress, even two decades after her death. With thanks to Vreeland's grandson, Alexander, Atelier Swarovski have captured her innate personal style in a collection of sparkling jewels. A bold collection of cuffs, bracelets, rings, grosgrain ribbon necklaces and key-rings have been produced in the ex-Vogue and Harper's Bazaar editrix's honour.
I thought that my grandmother's legacy needed to be clarified and people need to understand more what she did and what she stood for, what she achieved and where she made changes
Timed to coincide with the release of 'The Eye has to Travel' – a documentary produced by Alexander Vreeland's wife, Lisa Immordino, about Diana's life, the collection takes heed of not just Vreeland's personal taste but also love of proportion, movement and colour, as well as the images she created during her time at Condé Nast and Harper's. To celebrate the launch of the jewellery range, Atelier Swarovski held a Q&A with Alexander Vreeland and Justine Picardie. Dazed Digital caught up with Vreeland afterwards to hear more about the collaboration.
Dazed Digtial: Did you enjoy the Q&A with Justine Picardie?
Alexander Vreeland: It was great, she was so knowledgeable on my grandmother so it was fun and you know I don't get to talk about her that often so it wasn't that hard.
DD: It was very humbling to hear about how prolific Diana Vreeland's career was.
Alexander Vreeland: I loved the way my grandmother encouraged people in their careers too. I think it is very inspiring the way she encouraged different designers to design, and different photographers to take pictures, and so she played such a wonderful role in their lives.
DD: What was original impetus that made you want to design a jewellery collection?
Alexander Vreeland: I thought that my grandmother's legacy needed to be clarified and people need to understand more what she did and what she stood for, what she achieved and where she made changes. I also felt her vision was so powerful that there really should be some products under her name. So, I spoke to the people at Swarovski about doing this collection of jewellery and I wanted it to come out at the same time as the movie so people could see the jewellery and see what my grandmother's vision was.
DD: How involved were you with the collection's design?
Alexander Vreeland: I worked pretty closely with Tiffany Hargraves, who designed the collection, really educating her on my grandmother and showing her the proportions that would really be relevant to my grandmother. And, at one point I pushed a lot more colour into the collection because it felt like it was missing an opportunity to play with colour. In fact, my grandmother loved colour!
DD: Do you think she would have worn it?
Alexander Vreeland: I think she would have worn it. The cuffs, especially!
DD: Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?
Alexander Vreeland: The cuffs, because my grandmother wore cuffs and I think the cross is a wonderful and a really great symbol. The colours on the cross are really pretty.
AYAMI NISHIMURA by Rankin, is distributed in the UK by Turnaround, priced £40, www.turnaround.-uk.com