Wednesday, December 8, 2010

From the Vogue Archives: Scheherazaderie Part II

Vogue, April 1965Despite fashion being an illusionary world, Vreeland was also very much aware of what was going on in the Middle East and North Africa. She mentions fashionable trends taken up by “le tout Tehran,” while as early as the 1930’s she had already visited Tunis. She was constantly in touch with her contemporaries in Tehran and Beirut, who knew just as much about what was going on in Paris as they did in Cairo.

This paradox was not lost on Vreeland who observed: “Paris Dior’s recent collection presented Maharaja coats, colors and turbans…this at a moment when the East, turning resolutely to the West, buttons itself into suits, and it’s women cast aside their veils to wear tweed, vote and go in for organized sports.”

Interestingly, she ended her editorial on “Scheherazaderie” with this thought:
“Behind the façade of Orientalism, the superficial setting of dalliance, the trappings of the East, spiced pinks, curried yellows, and a whole gamme of Persian peacock blues there lies a stratum of which the West knows little, but which, however subconsciously, I believe what it now desires is stillness. Perhaps some half-formed craving for the immobility which the Arab World knows draws us.”

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