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Vreeland, Diana) Snow, Carmel with Mary Louise Aswell.

World of Carmel Snow, The.


 "A wonderful refreshing & dynamic woman"
Inscribed by Diana Vreeland
(Vreeland, Diana) Snow, Carmel, with Mary Louise Aswell. The World of Carmel Snow. Design by Alexey Brodovitch. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, (1962).
8vo.; black and lightly marbled cream boards; extremities bumped; dust jacket; price-clipped.
Together with:
Autograph note signed, "Diane," to [Marion] Ballantyne, n.d. ("Tuesday"); one leaf of stationery, 2 pages; Tuesday / Dear Mrs. Ballantyne / Thank you so / very very much / indeed for loaning / me this lovely book / for so long - / It was wonderfully / considerate of you / as I'd never read / it. / Always the / best to you / my good / neighbor! / Diane
First edition. A gift copy, inscribed by Diana Vreeland on front endpaper in green marker filling the page: Marion Ballantyne / I love this book & / never saw it before now. / Carmel was a wonderfull [sic] / refreshing & dynamic / woman- I learnt [sic] so / much from her & I owe / you so many thanks for your thoughtfullness [sic] / in sending me this - / Diana Vreeland - your / neighbor - July '82.
Vreeland was evidently unaware of the book's existence before the present copy was loaned to her by her Park Avenue neighbor, Marion Ballantyne. Both her inscription and her note of appreciation are written in green ink in Vreeland's large, flowing script; the note is written on Vreeland's personal stationery, with her address printed in red: 550 Park Avenue / Eldorado 5-2288.  
An exceptional association copy of the autobiography of longtime Harper's Bazaar editor Carmel Snow, one of the most influential tastemakers of the 20th century, inscribed by her protégé, the legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland. Snow offered a job to Vreeland in 1935 after she spotted her dancing one night at the St. Regis hotel, exuding style in a white lace Chanel dress and Bolero top, with roses in her hair. Snow explains that she "had been looking for...someone who would make news for Harper's Bazaar" (p. 104), and she found it in Vreeland, "a fashionable young woman...who reflected for us the new world of the International Set" (105).  Vreeland immediately created a sensation with a blasé, recurring column called, "Why Don't You?" about which Snow writes
[Diana] dismisses the famous "Why Don't You?" "absurdities"-which they were. Some of them have been quoted so often they've become clichés too ("Why Don't You rinse your blond child's hair in dead champagne," "Why Don't You turn your old ermine coat into a bathrobe," "Why Don't You give to the wife of your favorite band leader an entire jazz-band made of tiny baguette diamonds and cabochon emeralds, in the form of a bracelet from Marcus?"). . . . But publicity is publicity, and since "Why Don't You" 's are quoted today, a quarter century later, they achieved exactly the purpose I hoped for. (p. 105)
Snow soon appointed Vreeland fashion editor for Harper's Bazaar, and over the course of her nearly three decade tenure, Vreeland would earn "the undying respect of the Seventh Avenue market because of her daring originality and taste" (p. 105).
In all, Vreeland appears more than a dozen times in the pages of The World of Carmel Snow; chapter 10, for example, with Snow quoting Vreeland's description of her, which Snow recalls being "delivered in the low, impressive monotone that Diana Vreeland uses when she assumes her Sybil role:"
"It was like going into fresh fields full of apple blossoms when you went into Carmel's office in those early days. There was always a divine smell in the room. The windows were always open, as if to everything new. Everything was so light, so sure, so concentrated. Her touch was so light-the way she picked up a pencil-very firm, but so quick. She talked out of the corner of her mouth-you might not understand her at first-then it was over, finished, and she went on to the next thing. Her clothes, even her hats, never quite touched her. . . ." (p. 103)
Snow follows with her own memorable description of Vreeland:
I can't begin to match her in description and if I tried to it would sound like an empty exchange of compliments, which would bore us both. Diane converses naturally (according to her nature), sometimes in poetry, sometimes in startlingly original slang, sometimes in pithy comments that sound like the Sphinx she somewhat resembles, with her blue-black hair lacquered smooth on top and confined in a fan-shaped net behind her polished ears. (p. 103)
The collaboration between Vreeland and Snow was a long and fruitful one, with Vreeland remaining the fashion editor at Harper's Baazar for 28 years before assuming editorship of Vogue.
The present copy is also signed in blue ink by Ballantyne on the front endpaper.

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