Lately, when I'm not traveling, I've added something new to my morning routine. Sure, it includes my typical pattern of "writing and coffee" for the first hour or so. But when at home, I have access to something else, which I love to read as I am drinking my coffee...
The memos of Mrs. Vreeland.
I've written before how Diana Vreeland - hard working former editor at Harper's Bazaar and Vogue - is an inspiration to me. Well, about a month ago, I picked up a book of the memos she used to send out daily while Editor-in-Chief at Vogue. These are from the 1960s.
I adore reading them because there is such incredible vision and precision of instruction in them.
I mean, look at the bottom paragraph of the memo above... "The real ugliness of the average American woman is the fact that she has no spirit in her face..." LOVE! It's really "to-the-point"! Descriptive. She's not afraid to call American women "boring" and "ugly." And this ability to zero in on her vision of the truth is what drove the creativity of a magazine which - these days - lacks the readability of the Vreeland era.
The current Vogue has no truth or vision. I have actually stopped reading it, because it has gotten so boring and bad. (Anna Wintour needs to severely be replaced. She's lost her edge.)
And allow me to clarify... It's not just a matter of inundating your staff with instructions that drive the creativity. I am quite certain that editors at the current fashion books are excellent at providing instruction and intimidating their staff.
The difference with Mrs. Vreeland, however, appears to be the explanation of why she thinks something will be perfect for a story or angle. She keys the writer/photographer/model into what she is thinking and how she came to that conclusion. And it helps produce better work when those involved have that.
Oh... I could go on. I guess really, I'm just peeved that Kim Kardashian is on the April cover of Vogue... And that my copy of the CR Book hasn't arrived yet.
But that doesn't diminish my love of Mrs. Vreeland! She is an inspiration to me, leadership-wise and creativity-wise!