Diane von Furstenberg is, in my experience, the only designer who consistently encourages her models to smile, and allows them the freedom to wear the clothes as they interpret them. Runway beauties are cast accordingly. and the result is a relatable and exciting range of personalities expressed through timeless signatures. Such a powerful undercurrent in a brand that continues to both brave and capture new generations of women is rare to see, but in DVF’s case, not unexpected.
Let me explain.
Cara Delevingne’s famed eyebrows and blue steel sex appeal strutted the opening card in a re-printed, re-necklined alteration of the famed wrap dress. Her hair was carefully just out of bed and her dresser had been instructed to give a middle-aged dress a teen-cool waist. Off the runway, she would have worn it with leather pants, sneakers, and a snapback – or at least, that was the air about her day-old eye-flick.
Martha Hunt and Alana Zimmer, on the other hand, channelled a far more polished Farrah Fawcett (complete with barrel blowdrys and flawless gazes). Liu Wen’s double print was true to her cheeky elegance, and Jacquelyn Jablonski held her all-American man-tailored stance to the media pit and back.
So it is true: Diane von Furstenberg empowers women to empower themselves in whatever way they would prefer. When I spoke to her last season, she preferred not to delineate nor restrict female figures and characters to any particular philosophy or lifestyle. In other words, take it or leave it, but look fabulous no matter the undertaking.
As one of the most respected women in the global industry, Diane reciprocates an exceptional amount of respect to her dedicated consumers. It doesn’t matter, she said, if a woman styles herself in the way her models walked the collection. Her renowned prints were made for versatility, but her colours were to command attention. Her sharp shoulders and generous proportions were built with female authority in mind, but there would be no disservice to comfort. One can never be too comfortable (she waved at her shift dress) – you can’t think clearly otherwise.
The one element that remained throughout, however, was that no top button was ever done up. Sometimes even two or three. You need to relax, she told me. Life is about looking for light and space – we all need space.
Halfway through Fashion Month, Diane, I’m sure we all agree.