By Clarissa Cruz
Updated January 03, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

In possession of a boundless enthusiasm for not only fashion but the fashionable life, Diana Vreeland starred in enough tales to fill a decade’s worth of September Vogues. Former editor of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, and, later, special consultant to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vreeland — who died in 1989 — was arguably the most colorful and influential fashion editor of our time. And whether it was Vreeland’s trademark bluntness (upon hearing of JFK’s assassination, she blurted, ”My God, Lady Bird in the White House. We can’t use her in the magazine”) or her terrorizing of wide-eyed assistants (one of whom was Ali MacGraw), Dwight scrupulously details ”what was fact, what was fiction and what was the faction in between.”