Fashion Royalty On Signature Style
You may be familiar with Caroline Vreeland for a multitude of reasons. Her last name probably rings a bell because she is the great-granddaughter of Diana Vreeland, the late fashion icon and former Harper's Bazaar editor in chief. You may recognize her face because she is a fixture on the street-style scene, often photographed wearing coordinating outfits with her BFF, blogger Shea Marie. Or perhaps you feel like you know Ms. Vreeland via her gritty Instagram feed—a refreshing mix of unapologetic sexiness, cheeky sartorial moments and a cappella performances. Yes, that's right, she has some serious pipes. Read on for her insights on signature style and working your assets.
Caroline Vreeland As Diana Vreeland
In an exclusive photo shoot for The Zoe Report, Caroline wanted to re-create a famous image of her great-grandmother. Since Diana Vreeland was famously good friends with photographer Richard Avedon, we enlisted his grandson, Michael Avedon, for the shoot. The stunning images are a tribute to Diana's signature style and how elegant choices can transcend time.
Ever since I was a little girl, I've been drawn to this specific image of Diana and have always dreamed of re-creating it.
What did re-creating this famous image mean to you? "Ever since I was a little girl, I've been drawn to this specific image of Diana and have always dreamed of re-creating it. When I met Mikey [Avedon] on the dance floor in a club in NYC, he pulled me aside and Googled this exact image and said, 'Miss Vreeland, we must get together and give this iconic image new life together!' Our families have been friends for ages, back to when Mikey's grandfather Richard Avedon worked hand-in-hand with my great-grandmother. When I saw the finished images, I felt more connected to her than ever."
In your words, what was Diana's signature style? "Classic, bold, intense, inspired. She really believed in the clothes. They gave her life."
What makes this iconic outfit so timeless and able to stretch over decades? How did you feel in the ensemble? "This look is timeless. A men's shirt will be chic forever. I felt completely natural in this look. I've gotten the opportunity to do a lot of cool shooting over this past year, and every time I become someone new. For my most recent shoot, I was transformed into Marlene Dietrich for Purple magazine. Becoming Diana for a day with Michael Avedon was both natural and fantastic."
How has your great-grandmother influenced you in your career and your style choices? "DV gives me courage to take risks. Ever since I was little, my mom would make fun of me for never wanting to leave the house without looking fabulous. Even in a pinch I will go out with chic wet hair, no makeup but add a six-inch heel."
What would you say your go-to day-to-day uniform consists of? "Black jeans, Adidas sneakers, black cashmere sweater, 3 belly chains around my waist I never take off (seriously), and right now I'm obsessed with tying a black ribbon around my neck."
What is your signature beauty look? "I like wet, slicked back hair, clean radiant skin, no makeup and a nude matte lip."
Make your flaws the sexiest thing about you!
What would be your advice to a woman looking to establish her own personal style? "Whatever look you have, make that the thing that stands out about you. I love the scar on my forehead. It's my most beloved feature on my face. Michael Jackson didn't love the skin on his hand, which is why he wore the glove that then became his signature. Make your flaws the sexiest thing about you! This is what Diana stood for. For DV, Barbra Streisand's nose was the most divine thing in the whole world. I've always been a bit self-conscious of having big boobs in the fashion world. I was kicked off a shoot because they couldn't handle the boobs! When I went to Carine Roitfeld to shoot for CR Fashion Book, I was naturally a bit nervous about the boob situation. When I arrived at the shoot in Paris she told me, 'Darling, this whole shoot is about the boobs! J'adore the boobs!' Carine is the only woman in fashion who I think rivals Diana Vreeland in bravado, creative courage and ingenious individuality."
Fashion is in your blood, but what excites you about it? "What excites me about fashion is all the love and care and inspiration that goes into a collection. People truly in the industry live and die by fashion. It's their life force. Faith and devotion to something like that is, to me, just as powerful as religion."
Who are three of your favorite designers/brands currently? Saint Laurent, Alexandre Vauthier, Faith Connexion
Where do you see yourself in five years? "Performing all over the world. Eating pasta in Rome, drinking wine in Paris, rereading and rereading Dostoyevsky."
Do you have a style mantra you live by? "Be yourself. That's what is sexiest. The thing you think is perhaps ugly about you is actually the most beautiful part. Also, wine. Stay drunk! Love people. A poem by Charles Baudelaire comes to mind:
Always be drunk. That's it! The great imperative! In order not to feel Time's horrid fardel Bruise your shoulders, Grinding you into the earth, Get drunk and stay that way. On what? On wine, poetry, virtue, whatever. But get drunk."