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Why Don't You?... by Diana Vreeland


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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why Don't You?... by Diana Vreeland

Rinse your blond child's hair in dead champagne to keep its gold as they do in France?

Comments on "Why Don't You?... by Diana Vreeland"


Blogger Punctuation Mark said ... (5:42 PM) : 

That is a great idea... learn what's good from an early age!


Blogger Poppy Buxom said ... (5:48 PM) : 

You realize Diana made that up, right?

I mean, how silly is this idea? What Frenchwoman would let her champagne go dead in the first place--let alone waste it on her child's hair?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:51 PM) : 

I am a French mother of 2, my kids were blond when they were younger, but, no, I never ever heard of rinsing in dead champagne... How expensive can this be?!


Blogger Unknown said ... (5:52 PM) : 

I love DV's old "Why Don't You?"s! Please keep them alive!


Blogger FASHION SNAG said ... (5:54 PM) : 

Wow, never heard this before.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:54 PM) : 

i think somebody hacked this blog because i cannot imagine you seriously wrote this... i hear french people don't take showers too. and i hear americans, they all wear cowboys hats. seriously... no hate, just surprised you go that path... it's not even funny. and am french living in NY, i.e. sarcastic and quite open to a good joke on my peers...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:59 PM) : 

I am Australian. I rinse my hair with beer.


Blogger Pricciao said ... (6:00 PM) : 

so you can show how wealthy you are, hahaha
that idea is silly indead, but cute anyway.


Blogger Emma said ... (6:01 PM) : 

Such a shame my parents did not think of doing that when I was little! What's the use of being French if I don't get the good 'traditions'? haha


Blogger Emily said ... (6:03 PM) : 

These are fabulous! I wonder what would happen if you did that with brown hair? Would it lighten it?



Blogger the_eye_collector said ... (6:06 PM) : 

Oh my Lord, I could have sworn that said: 'Why not wash your dead child's hair in champagne.' How alarming.


Blogger Nedda Ebo said ... (6:07 PM) : 

LOL! This is funny! x


Blogger elegancemaison said ... (6:10 PM) : 

What is dead Champagne? The day-old Bollinger that originated Bucks Fizz? Or the origin of bottle blond LOL!


Blogger zincink said ... (6:13 PM) : 

~ ~ wiggley eyebrows

What do I do with these lemons?


Blogger Ian said ... (6:13 PM) : 

Again.....this is simply part of the granduer that is Diana Vreeland!

Although I cannot speak to the validity of this statement, or the seriousness in which she spoke it, for some reason I just don't think that Ms. Vreeland really meant this! She was a humorous person, and it could have been a very tongue-in-cheek statement. To what it referred, I know not, but I think she was joking!

Further, part of maintaining an air of aloofness and grandeur is calculation. I think that Diana knew this and used it to "add fuel to the fire", so to speak. Karl Lagerfeld does the same thing!

Yes, eccentric though he may be (well, according to some - I don't think so. I love it!), I doubt that the man is as wild and far-fetched as he would have people believe. It's part of the mystique that goes along with such fabled people. I'm sure Diana knew this, as well.



Blogger Yeji Jun said ... (6:13 PM) : 



Blogger Unknown said ... (6:18 PM) : 

Great idea! :D


Blogger iliketweet said ... (6:23 PM) : 

I'd rather drink it to be honest...

tweet tweet tweet



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:27 PM) : 

This is whimsical, beautiful for a short story. I have heard about beer and chamomile tea, but champagne! Ooh la lá!


Anonymous Elaine said ... (6:31 PM) : 

Where are these postings and/or quotations coming from Diana Vreeland? Yes, she was a legend.


Blogger Gaia said ... (6:44 PM) : 

I knew vinegar!
chamagne? I'll try that too!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:46 PM) : 

A run up to an April fools day funny?!! Vreeland style.


Blogger A READER said ... (7:07 PM) : 

Why don't you?....

..."Cut up your old ermine wrap into a bathrobe"

What a woman.


Anonymous princess glee said ... (9:34 PM) : 

Sparkling wines are now made in Malibu, California. They have blonds with blond children. I'm sure they recycle and not all the wines make it market. So that'd be a win situation for all.


Anonymous Rosie said ... (10:08 PM) : 

I am puzzled by all these people who find declarations of lavish excess to demonstrate how amazing DV was. Even if they were tongue-in-cheek... I mean, do you really judge a person positively on how far they can take their self-indulgentness? It seems kind of cossetted and boring.


Anonymous ME said ... (10:11 PM) : 



Anonymous The Photodiarist said ... (10:37 PM) : 

So, for brunette children, we should use dead cabernet sauvignon or Lambrusco?


Blogger Beverly. said ... (11:22 PM) : 

Champagne, dead or alive, would be in my belly. ^___^


Blogger KohCo said ... (11:55 PM) : 

That's hilarious!
Pure gold
I love it...



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:18 AM) : 

Lemon juice in the sun is probably more effective.


Blogger Unknown said ... (2:11 AM) : 

I'm amazed at the stunning lack of senses of humor here.

Diana Vreeland used to pen these daffy, off-handed, silly "Why Don't You?"s every month for Vogue when she was editrix.

They weren't meant to be taken seriously and most of them were even more ridiculous than the one Scott posted.

Get a sense of humor AND a sense of history, people.


Blogger The Pilgrim said ... (3:40 AM) : 

We're all concentrating on wether champagne is good or not for our hair (probably yes, if beer and vinegar are), but let's just read this as if it were a lovely piece of "poésie surréaliste"... the concepts of blond child, dead, Champagne and gold in the same sentence do have some visual and emotional strength, non?

And for those who are still wondering about champagne in their hair, I've grown up in France and never heard of it. Just drink it! ;)


Blogger kathrynnova said ... (3:50 AM) : 

FANTASTIC! but will it have the same effect with cheap champagne? i just can't fathom drowning some kid's hair with a bottle of Krug....


Anonymous frans said ... (4:07 AM) : 

In Belgium people are even worse :-) We fill the bath tub with wather champagne and a little bit pamplemousse... the first time my Belgian wife did this i was wondering, now we do this all the time, she stays nice gold blonde and i am not getting older anymore...

@angry French New Yorker... You confirm the lack of humor of your species


Blogger Mamie Canem said ... (4:59 AM) : 

We don't do that in France ! ahah but it is quite funny to see what image foreigners can have of us


Blogger alice said ... (5:08 AM) : 

This is funny just because it's something someone with a provincial point of view would do.

So, if you want the map on four walls thing to work, maybe you should forget about the dead champagne french thing.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:34 AM) : 

Why not make sure all your bottles of champagne are finished, and spare your child the reek of stale alcohol on their head?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:37 AM) : 

Who has leftover champagne??


Anonymous Marie-Christine said ... (5:41 AM) : 

Camomille tea is what this French child ever got. No real French person would let champagne go flat, it's not Coke..


Blogger TheStreetFashion5xpro said ... (6:54 AM) : 

i love vintage photos


Blogger Unknown said ... (9:38 AM) : 

Brummel said he made the same to shined his shoes.

Many "stupid" people believed him...

Just like today.....

--> Have you noticed the date? April the 1st...


Anonymous Allan Connery said ... (10:15 AM) : 

S. J. Perelman, one of the great old New Yorker humorists, had the pleasure of reading Vreeland's "Why Don't You" pieces when they were brand new. In April, 1938, he was moved to a rebuttal. A couple of choice slices:

"If a perfectly strange lady came up to you on the street and demanded 'Why don't you travel with a little raspberry-colored cashmere blanket to throw over yourself in hotels and trains?' the chances are that you would turn on your heel with dignity and hit her with a bottle. Yet that is exactly what has been happening for the past twenty months in the pages of a little raspberry-colored magazine called Harper's Bazaar ...

"The first time I noticed this 'Why Don't You?' department was a year ago last August while hungrily devouring news of the midsummer Paris openings. Without any preamble came the stinging query 'Why don't you rinse your blond child's hair in dead champagne, as they do in France? Or pat her face gently with cream before she goes to bed, as they do in England?' After a quick look into the nursery I decided to let my blond child go to hell her own way, as they do in America ..."

Just one more: "'Why don't you try the effect of diamond roses and ribbons flat on your head, as Garbo wears them when she says goodbye to Armand in their country retreat?' asked Miss Sly Boots in a low, thrilling voice." Perelman describes how he took up this suggestion; it ended badly.

The whole thing is available, in these wonderful times, at


Blogger Sara said ... (10:38 AM) : 

Because my lovely golden-haired 6 year old child said EEEWWWW when I suggested it just now?

Between the smell and the stickiness, she may have a point.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:10 AM) : 

Vreeland was also famous for putting blush in her ears so take it with a bit of salt.


Anonymous carmencatalina said ... (1:48 PM) : 

Count me in as another who somehow got "rinse your dead child's hair in champagne" - yikes!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:27 PM) : 

champagne!? don't you realize we're in a recession? chamomile tea works just as well for the towheaded effect...


Anonymous mabelmabel said ... (11:47 AM) : 

This is a famous question from Vreeland's famous mag feature. Ever the provocateur, Vreeland does not expect the reader to take her supposed suggestions literally; rather,she intends to jolt her readers, to make us laugh, argue, huff or humpph, and otherwise wake up. Yes, this suggestion/question is outrageous--and Vreeland knows it. She's inviting us to, likewise, risk being outrageous--THAT is the real suggestion she offers.


Blogger V. said ... (3:12 PM) : 

Oh I love DV's "Why don't you" series!

Why don't you make resurrecting them a regular part of your lovely blog?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:22 PM) : 

Because you should be teaching them that they look perfect the way they are?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:48 PM) : 

and am french living in NY, i.e. sarcastic and quite open to a good joke on my peers...

...and apparently not so good with reading comprehension. Otherwise, you would understand that this has nothing to do with badmouthing the French. Au contraire, it's a silly but flattering tale that evokes the mystique that the French have for most Americans; worldly, a bit sensual and decadent, chic.


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