“What I remember about my grandmother really clearly is the proportion of her jewellery. She wore big jewellery: large cuffs and different kinds of crosses. We worked with Tiffany Hargraves who worked at Chanel for several years, so had a really good sense of the proportions that reflected my grandmother's sensibility and a taste that would speak to new generations.
My grandmother believed in wearing a uniform. She would go to work every day wearing a very similar type of outfit. It might have been a very cropped cashmere sweater, a pair of pants – she always had a certain look to her. It was always very pulled together but comfortable. It was really the jewellery that popped it. She wasn’t somebody that would tell me what to wear or tell somebody else what to wear. She really believed that we all have style and that we needed to find that. She didn’t talk a lot about herself, her legacy or how people will think about her, that wasn’t really her approach. She just had a lot to do, she was a very busy person and wasn’t really looking at how will history treat her.
"My grandmother always had a certain look to her. It was always very pulled together but comfortable. It was really the jewellery that popped it"
She would invite me sometimes to have lunch with her. And she’d set up a card table in the middle of the office and the two of us would sit down and have our lunch. She always had a peanut butter and marmalade sandwich and a long shot of scotch and we would always have ice-cream afterwards."
Alexander Vreeland is grandson of the great Diana Vreeland. In celebration of her legacy, Atelier Swarovski has created a jewellery collection inspired by her own jewellery box. The collection includes rings, cuffs, pendants and necklaces in crystal and resin, reminiscent of Vreeland’s personal style and panache. Known as the Empress of Fashion, Vreeland is widely credited as one of the most influential fashion editors of the 20th century. She had a direct influence on Swarovski, advising their coloured stones during their growth. Her influence also stretches to the Met Costume Institute, where she was a credited consultant for many years, as well as the initial inspiration for the recent Louis Vuitton S/S13 show.
Text by Mhairi Graham