Lady In Red

Last night I was up until 2am, strung out on canned frosting and social media. Also I was watching this documentary on fashion guru Diana Vreeland which was utterly fascinating. Seriously. I’m not even that much of a fashion bug but golly, this woman was impressive. What an eye. What a gal. You have just got to watch this movie.

At the height of her career, Vreeland was an editor at Vogue, but for many years before that she was a columnist at Harper’s Bazaar. Her longest running piece was called Why Don’t You? and was just a simple list of extravagant suggestions to insert in one’s life for fun. The film mentions five of them and I thought they were so fabulous that I went scouring the internet for more.

All of these ideas are as impractical as they are extravagant, but they make me feel fancy just typing them out on the computer. Oooooo!


Why don’t you…try the lovely combination of tourmalines and pale rubies?

Why don’t you…turn your old ermine coat into a bathrobe?

Why don’t you…wear loose velvet gloves in wonderful colors – the right hand in violet velvet, the left in burgundy? These gloves at the theater emerging from a beautiful fur cap would be effective.

Why don’t you…if you are a tawny blond, wear bright yellow pajamas with carved coral bracelets?

Why don’t you…knit yourself a skullcap?

Why don’t you…sweep into the drawing-room on your first big night with an enormous red fox muff with many skins?

Why don’t you…give someone an enormous white handkerchief linen table-cloth, and in different handwriting and different colors (black, acid green, pink, scarlet and pale blue) have embroidered all the bon mots you can possibly think of?

Why don’t you…give a case of vin rose – a delicious wine for luncheon or simple dinners?

Why don’t you…give a length of exquisite brocade – enough for an evening envelope, to bind a favorite book, or make a little jacket?

Why don’t you…give Chanel’s “Glamour”? It drives men crazy.

Why don’t you…go to the theatre in a black tweed evening suit with a jacket embroidered in brilliant paillettes?

Why don’t you…wear, like the Duchess of Kent, three enormous diamond stars arranged in your hair in the front?

Why don’t you…have the most beautiful necklaces in the world made of huge pink spiky coral with big Siberian emeralds?

Why don’t you…wear Suzanene Talbot’s black crepe glove embroidered in gold like the hand that bore a falcon?

Why don’t you…order Schiaparelli’s cellophane belt with your name and telephone number on it?


I dare you to read that list and not feel fancy. I dare you.


  1. says

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. says

    Reposted, but with the typos fixed. Not enough chocolate, that’s what I’m blaming. Oh my. I can’t help but think of “To Wong Fu, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar”. The tablecloth and skullcap ideas could be done by someone of less modest means. I don’t knit. I crochet. Would that count? I do embroidery, though. /sigh Why do you give me more ideas than I can possibly do?

    • Theo Winterwood says

      Oh man! I think anything that reminds anyone of “To Wong Foo” might count as the ultimate in feeling fancy and elegant. 🙂

      Although back in high school, a friend knit me an electric green and neon purple skullcap and I didn’t so much feel like the epitome of classy fanciness; I felt more like a moderately flamboyant skater kid. (Which, okay, looking back in retrospect, that might be about as close to elegance as I got at seventeen years old . . .)

  3. says

    I have knit myself a skullcap! Does that mean I’m fancy and need to now buy an enormous red muff?

    • says

      It might. You could probably get away with two-tone velevt gloves, or some emerald crusted collar stays. Hard to say.

    • says

      Dang! Those are cool. Sorta Game of Thrones / Ren Fair too. Diana would def approve.

  4. Deb in Oklahoma says

    DV was the original Diana (with capital D) who, along with Schiaparelli and Chanel, turned the fashion world upside down. Ms. Vreeland was a very cool chick who will always be in style. Peaches, you could do your own riff on “Why don’t you….”! You always have fun ideas for all sorts of stuff.

    • says

      Deb, I was thinking that very thing too! This has blog post written all over it. I thought it might be silly but now you suggested it and and I feel all validated. Hmmm… this might need to happen!

  5. says

    My husband’s best friend in high school was Diana Vreeland’s nephew. They lived in Santa Barbara and she lived back east so there wasn’t a real closeness but my husband has a few stories….She was larger than life. Mimi

  6. says

    Yes, why DON’T I wear, like the Duchess of Kent, three enormous diamond stars arranged in your hair in the front? A question for the ages! LOL!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *