The great-granddaughter of fashion legend Diana Vreeland, who was editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar from 1936 to 1962, Caroline Vreeland is a talented star in the making, ready to take the music scene by storm with her upcoming album In Ruins. Her connection to style royalty is unmistakably evident, but the blonde-haired, blue-eyed vixen is more than happy to pass up a fancy position at one of the monthly glossies to see her name appear on the Billboard charts instead. This singer, songwriter, actress, artist and well-loved It girl on the fashion circuit is bound to mesmerise with her seductive yet melancholic crooning.
“I would describe the music I do as ‘doomed magic’,” Vreeland says nonchalantly. Her singles “The Mauling” and “Wasteland” certainly aren’t cheery. “I like to not have a creative sense of evolution in my songs. I like to let things be the way they are. Even if there is a negative situation, I like to honour that pain in that moment. When I was writing the whole album, I wasn’t doing it consciously at first, I was just writing... but every song is about some flaw, some imperfection, something I did wrong. I wasn’t offering any kind of explanation for it. It’s not like a Katy Perry thing of, ‘Do the right thing’ and ‘You are beautiful’. It’s more like, ‘This is the f***ed-up truth’, and just letting that be what it is. And that was sort of what my great-grandmother stood for, too.
“There are a lot of fears. I have a great life. I live in LA, I’m healthy, I’m young, I’m doing what I love. I shouldn’t feel these things, and I beat myself up about it a little bit. Why am I scared to sleep alone at night? And I have to kind of address those things, and I do that by writing about them.”
Although she is very much the courageous, no-holds-barred leggy bombshell, Vreeland is also about transparency and expressing what she feels in any given moment. “To have people find some kind of comfort in my music, that’s really important to me,” she says. “And I would like to play some small role in the idea that people don’t stop feeling what they’re feeling. One of my hashtags that I love is #pleasefeel. So I kind of try to push that out into the world.”
Social media has become an important factor in Vreeland’s career. At first she was reluctant to get involved, given its invasive nature and her constant battle with fear and anxiety. But she came to the realisation that it would bring her closer to her fans and the people she’s trying to connect with through her music. Now, she can get instant feedback when she posts a video of her latest song. And although Instagram has propelled her into social media fame with more than 130,000 followers, Vreeland says she has recently started to veer towards Snapchat. “It can’t be so perfectly polished on Snapchat as it can on Instagram,” the singer says.
“I love the idea that Snapchat gives you insight into someone’s real life. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be interesting.”
And interesting she certainly is. It’s not just her intriguing personality, or the endearing Harry Potter-esque scar on her forehead (only visible at a certain angle). There’s also the irrational fear of death that keeps her awake at night, and of course her disarming natural beauty and effortless style. Not to mention her enviable ability to eat copious amounts of cheese, washed down with wine, without gaining a kilo.
So, who does the singer look up to? “My legend is Cleopatra,” Vreeland says. “She’s just sexy. She did a lot for love. That’s admirable.” Of course she also names her great-grandmother as a source of endless inspiration. “She gave me the courage to take risks,” she says. “I feel her in my blood, I do. I feel that I can make a difference. I feel that I can make a statement. I feel that I can be a bit off the cuff, be crazy, be taboo. I feel that I have a chance to do that, and she kind of paved the way for me, really. But it’s not about the Vreeland name. It’s not about getting my foot in the door. I do see what a beautiful thing it is and I’m honoured to be part of that, but at first, to be honest, I was reluctant, because I didn’t want to be seen as someone who just had this opportunity and kind of milked it for all it was worth. I was a singer long before I understood what it meant to be a Vreeland.”
She also highlights Parisian fashion icon Carine Roitfeld, who embraced Vreeland and took her under her wing. And she doesn’t hesitate to praise some of her peers in the industry who have remained independent for as long as possible. “There are a select few artists in the music industry that I really admire,” she says. “You had Lana Del Rey performing on Saturday Night Live before she even had an album out. Or there’s Macklemore who had a song on the radio and wasn’t particularly signed to anyone. That’s important to me. To generate buzz on your own gives you a lot of leverage and as an artist.
“I also really admire the career of Florence Welch from Florence and the Machine in that she was able to stay very indie but still be mainstream, still be popular, not technically pop music, but popular. And I would really love to sort of follow in her footsteps in that I could be the headline at Coachella, without necessarily being someone you hear on the radio every five minutes. I really admire her for that. I do of course see the benefit of working with a label long-term. You need help with marketing and distribution. That’s my plan down the line, but I love the artists who stuck it out until the bitter end.”
Writing songs, producing music and keeping up appearances must surely take their toll. So how does Vreeland relax? “I unwind in the bath with a glass of wine, reading my book,” she confides. “Wine is very important in my life. People who know me, know that my alter ego is Carowine. We laugh about it, but I think it’s a huge source of pleasure and enjoyment for me. I’m fascinated with where the grapes come from. I’m not perfect at it yet, but I do know what I like and what I don’t like. And it really relaxes me. Sex helps too. Sex is also very relaxing.”
Her beauty regime is also a top priority. Along with current staple, iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance+, she makes sure she drinks enough water and stays out of the sun – and plans to create her own skincare line at some stage. And fitness? “I have a very cheese-heavy diet,” she quips. “My cholesterol is quite high. I try to be better about it. I had broccoli for lunch today, but I’m not the most active girl on earth. Sex is probably the most physical activity that I have, but I do like SoulCycle in LA sometimes. There’s not a lot of boob bouncing. It’s hard to work out if you have boobs. But yeah, a sexual appetite I think keeps you nice and fit...and broccoli.”