Don't you loathe the word "workaholic"? It has nothing to do with an important thing, that you and your secretary are at the office until 6:30. But that's life, kiddo. 24-hour work doesn't go on in America. 24-hour work is what Italy and Holland did after the war. The lights never went out!
One is born with good taste. It's very hard to acquire. You can acquire the patina of taste. But what Elsie Mendl had was something else that's particularly American""""an appreciation of vulgarity. Vulgarity is a very important ingredient in life. I'm a great believer in vulgarity""""if it's got vitality. A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste""""it's hearty, it's healthy, it's physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I'm against.
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Beauty is in all beings that love and are loved, animals and children, and if older women have it, it is because they feel completely free in this world and in their lives as they feel close to God... and they are spiritually in tune with the universe." December 6 1968. Letter to Miss Anita Colby, 3 East 78th Street, New York
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I was always fascinated by the absurdities and luxuries and the snobbism of the world that fashion magazines showed. Of course, it's not for everyone...But I lived in that world, not only during my years in the magazines business but for years before, because I was always of that world-- at least in my imagination.
All my life I've pursued the perfect red. I can never get painters to mix it for me. It's exactly as if I'd said, 'I want rococo with a spot of Gothic in it and a bit of Buddhist temple'""they have no idea what I'm talking about. About the best red is to copy the color of a child's cap in any Renaissance portrait.
I don't think anybody has been in a better place at a better time than I was when I was editor of Vogue. Vogue always did stand for people's lives. I mean, a new dress doesn't get you anywhere: it's the life you're living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later. Like all great times, the sixties were about personalities. It was the first time when mannequins became personalities. It was a time of great goals, an inventive time and these girls invented themselves. Naturally, as an editor I was there to help them along.
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