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Wednesday, February 18th 2009

notes from ny: diane von furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg at the end of her fall '09 runway show.

Sometimes (often, actually) another writer says it best, and this time it’s Amy Odell (of New York magazine’s blog The Cut) with her piece entitled Our Love and Envy of Diane von Furstenberg Reaches New Levels. So thanks, Amy. If you don’t mind, I’ll just go ahead and cut ‘n’ paste your work here and call it a day.

Okay, maybe not quite yet. Oh DVF. Earthy yet elegant, sophisticated yet bohemian, not to mention the head of her own empire, this lady is the epitome of a class act—and not in an unapproachable, too-perfectly-coiffed way. No, she’s the kind of together, knowing chick you want to split a bottle of wine with and ask for advice on your love life. (Because you know it would be good.) An actual girls’ night out with DVF? Probably not happening any time soon, but at least we can be besties with her clothes, those instant favorites that inevitably end up in heavy rotation: beyond flattering skirts and pants, print pieces we pull out season after season, smart-yet-sexy dresses we go on second dates in.

Two bold-hued looks from the DVF fall runway.

A quote from DVF in the program for her fall 2009 Nomad collection reads: "Wherever she goes, she belongs...her clothes are her friends." And while other designers are going austere and understated, she knows we could use something to brighten our outlook about now, and she delivers it in this tactile, eclectic collection of styles both statement-making and versatile. On the runway this translated into velvet pieces for day or evening (Kate predicts this will be an important fabric for fall), lace, lamé, oversized and printed sweaters (the latter was a Kate fave), bold animal prints, rainbow plaid, deep purples, vibrant pinks, gold, and sweetly offbeat pom-pom details. Kate and Morgan noted that the emerging “mixed media” trend was a major presence in this collection (one example: metallic-accented dresses with knit cardigans over them), as were creative layered looks that would transition well between a variety of different occasions, situations, and temperatures—great for busy everyday lives and travel.

Examples of DVF's use of "mixed media" in her fall collection.

I may be projecting here, but DVF seems to be telling us to embrace the possibilities in this time of flux, and what’s more, she’s giving us the clothes we need to do it. (She’s something of an expert on the art of personal reinvention, after all.) Her little dance at the end of the presentation to the 1980 classic Upside Down (when she was joined by none other than Diana Ross herself) provided a fitting end to this strong show.

--Kate, Morgan, Maureen

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