DIANE VON FURSTENBERG: A LESSON IN DESIGN FROM FASHION’S GRANDE DAME

CREATING CLOTHES FOR THE CONFIDENT WOMAN

Diane von Furstenberg is truly the spiritual godmother of New York fashion.  Her designs are iconic.  Her shop in Meatpacking is every bit as trendy and cool as the neighborhood itself.  And now that she sits atop the CFDA, I sense that the order of the fashion world has somehow been restored.

Her looks for Spring/Summer 2013 are, as ever, amazing.  It’s great to watch new, young designers try to come into their own at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.  But there is something so special about seeing the masters at work, and von Furstenberg is a master.  She knows women and how their bodies move better than any other designer.  She knows what we think when we shop, whether it’s for a specific occasion or just for fun.  It would be easy to say it’s because she’s a woman, but there are a lot of women designers and few of them get it to von Furstenberg’s level.

For Spring/Summer 2013, it’s all about the color:  big, bold, fun and showy.  It was mixed and matched in ways few of us could imagine, let alone pull off.  And it worked.  A bright, shiny turquoise was paired with orange and white.  A soft teal top with over-sized sleeves went so well with red slacks.  A grey jacket trimmed with gold leather was matched with a sea blue top.

There was a decided Indian influence in the Sari-like tops with tight tapered pants in silk.  Every color, the blues, the greens, the lavenders, the pinks and the corals were pastels with pop.  Yes, sort of wearable pop-ice.

When you get to the more traditional von Furstenberg styles, suddenly the colors went primary, and really stood out.  A navy spotted suit was pure fun, as was a happy, patriotic-colored pants suit.  A dress with a coral jigsaw design was soft and beautiful.  Sparkly gowns were perfect for the red carpet.  Even her whites seemed crisper.

But she is a designer who doesn’t stand still, who always seems to look forward (note her collaboration with Google for this collection, and the fact that many of her models wore “Glass by Google” glasses on the runway.  So her onesie in blue, turquoise and red really fit in.  It couldn’t have been  more modern, or more on-trend.  But then, I suspect it is designers of her caliber who create the trends.

These are looks for the confident, successful woman who knows what she wants, and can afford it (and wear it). This woman isn’t afraid of color, isn’t afraid of anything, really.  Her customers love her traditional wraps and familiar patterns.  But she has the ability and the desire to bring fashion into the future.

Photography: Anton Brookes

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