The legendary magazine editor and fashion oracle celebrated with lots of archival photos and an excess of propriety in Diana Vreeland The Eye Has to Travel was possibly more fascinating than the devil. Certainly her taste was more interesting than a wardrobe of mere Prada could reflect. Vreeland, who died (at approximately age 86) in 1989, reigned with imperious creativity over Vogue from 1962 to 1971; later, for 17 years, she conjured up magical exhibitions at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
A marvelous and improbable self-creation who preferred “faction” to fact or fiction when telling her own life story, spouted mad aphorisms (“Pink is the navy blue of India”), and was forever on the lookout for the new, Vreeland herself would have been a tad impatient with this unimpeachably nicey-nice tribute directed and produced by her granddaughter-in-law, Lisa Immordino Vreeland. All the right people are interviewed — fashion designers, photographers, journalists, Vreeland’s two aged sons — and all the right photos and news clips are assembled, showing off the lady’s keenly curated sense of dramatic self-presentation. But this is a pretty, surface-y documentary rather than the kind of exciting one Vreeland would have demanded, declaring, “You gotta have style!” B