Bright spotlights shoot up from the floor; the louvered doors twist open; and the smoke rises, then mysteriously parts as Cara Delevingne struts onto the u-shaped, chain link runway in a long sleeve snake flutter dress with a keyhole neckline as if she’s just been released from the glamorous DVF time capsule. “Life is a Party!” so opens the liner notes of the Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2013 Ready-to-Wear Showrun and with a medley of female empowerment anthems: Donna Summer’s “Love to Love You Baby,” Jessie Ware’s “No to Love,” and Andrea True Connection’s “More, More, More” both the stage and soundtrack are set.
“This collection was really going back down to the core of DVF… it was a little bit inspired by David Bowie when he was young and a little bit by me when I was young,” noted the designer, “Whether a very proper wrap dress in suede, or a chiffon patch dress, or a metallic pant, my goal in life was to be your best friend when you opened your closet…I wanted to go back to real DVF core, you know what people expect from me and they expect from me the rock n’ roll girl I wanted to be!”
I always look especially forward to the designer’s program because it provides the perfect backstory, painting a vivid imagery and prelude to the runway presentation. Although she presents in the largest venue at the tents, it’s one of the few shows that still manages to feel intimate, perhaps because you see and feel that iconic glitz and glamour in everything she does. This season summoned the essence of the eponymous brand, perhaps more so than any other because it was “pure Diane,” without the aid of former Creative Director Yvan Mispelaere, Ms. von Furstenberg could be her own muse and frankly she is the best one of all. While many designers may reference photographs, music, art, and rhapsodize about a more bohemian way of life, she has actually lived it! “It all started when Mick Jagger brought David Bowie over late one night…” shared the designer backstage—now how many designers can draw from an experience like that?
She represents the ultimate 70’s siren, the defining disco diva and this season Ms. von Furstenberg reveled in the memory of her very well-spent youth. With 37 looks, one after another was DVF reincarnate with side swept tousled waves parted on the left, a clean face, and bright pink lip; the direction backstage for models to smile and be themselves was infectious. The DVF woman is unapologetically vivacious, self-confident, and worldly; she possesses a certain joie de vivre; you’re attracted to her energy, her zest, and her fearlessness. These clothes have an intoxicatingly powerful effect—no matter how much of a whirlwind may be buzzing around, one can’t help but exude a certain equanimity.
As we’ve come to expect, Ms. von Furstenberg unveiled a myriad of prints, both small and large scale; both animal and geometric; and both neutrals and brights. Metallic hints and exotic coatings were especially successful here, giving the collection a nonchalantly luxurious-casual-chic vibe. While the silhouettes varied from a blouse atop a slim fitted trouser and a jumpsuit to an elegant signature wrap or maxi dress, one common thread was the play on textures. Both mixed media and a mélange of prints were strong directions this season; while some struggle with this pattern play, Diane, the great, makes it effortless.
My favorite pieces from the Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2013 Ready-to-Wear Collection included: the leopard bark printed Mikado long sleeve jacket with spotted cat hazelnut printed chiffon long sleeve blouse, cognac/burnt amber pant, and leopard print haircalf Barrington Mary Jane; the wing dance mini new apricot crepe de chine jumper with black haircalf Devon sandal; the bird weave pink/fusion pink soft satin long sleeve v-neck dress and wide leg pant with paprika/fetish pink leather/snake zip and go clutch, and red satin Devon sandal; the blue iris luxe splittable double face coat with fox fur collar and burnished brown quilted cow leather long sleeves, Leo chain blue stone satin chiffon burnout long sleeve top, gold/black metallic snake coating straight leg pant, and black waxy calf Barrington Mary Jane; and the glam pink/black metallic snake coating long sleeve coat with black leather cuffs, copper metallic liquid jersey collared long sleeve top, gold/black metallic snake coating knee length skirt with black satin piping details, and leopard haircalf Barrington Mary Jane; and the chain mail red crepe de chine long sleeve woven dress, black leather/snake zip and go clutch, black waxy calf Barrington Mary Jane.
Shakespeare wrote, “To thine own self be true,” and this season there was an unmistakable authenticity to this collection. As Ms. von Furstenberg took her final walk to Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman,” it was clear that not only might the DVF muse feel like “Life is a Party,” she would most certainly be the life of the party!
For additional information, please visit the Diane von Furstenberg website