Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection Review — New Beginnings

The Diane von Furstenberg runway presentation is always one of the hottest tickets during the Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. Not only drawing celebrities and industry peers alike to her front row—Academy Award-Winning Actress Susan Sarandon and Oscar de la Renta were on hand to show their support, but just as the lights went down, VALENTINO was escorted to his seat! VALENTINO!!!


In deference to the 10th anniversary of September 11th, the Diane von Furstenberg Spring 2012 Runway Presentation program noted that it was a time for new beginnings, “The light appears and everything changes.” The queen of prints opened her prophetic presentation with her signature wrap dress, but instead of a colorful jersey, she opted for an optic white cotton version, underscoring this new era. The palette gradually shifted from white to warmer and cooler tones, such as topaz, aqua, aubergine, lilac, peach, chestnut, honeydew, and putty before transitioning to the designer’s vibrantly quintessential pattern-play. The silhouette remained relaxed with ruffled-front, calf-length, one-shoulder, and the season’s ubiquitous apron dresses, but a sprinkling of sequins and patent leather accessories highlighted the ikat, giraffe, water circle, landscape, and floral prints.


Backstage the designer explained that the starting point for the collection was modern Africa with the duality of hot and cool (as reflected by the palette) and a sophisticated utilitarianism (as conveyed by the silhouette and construction). Yes, the prints are fun to wear and easy to incorporate into the modern-day fashion closet, while the cuts are quite forgiving and transformative for today’s frenetic lifestyles, but the underlying message for the DVF woman was especially potent and timely during this presentation. She is all-at-once renewed, resilient, adaptive, adventurous, self-possessed, and empowered. As only Ms. von Furstenberg, fashion’s mother of reinvention, can, she has woven life’s sartorial tapestry for today’s renaissance woman. Inviting us to continue on this journey, if not embark on our own, this muse is celebrated for her optimism, vitality, and strength. It’s this intoxicatingly eclectic allure that appeals across generations of women, balancing the classic with the modern; the familiar with the unexpected, and the feminine with the masculine. The liner notes expounded on this mantra, with a forecast indicating a sense of a clarity, promise, and infinite possibilities.  


After the 49th and final look, Ms. von Furstenberg took her final walk and handed out small American flags to the audience as Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” played overhead. “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, and I’m feeling good.” What a class act! The DVF invitation noted that in observance of 9/11 and in the memory of those who lost their lives, a donation would be made in the name of each confirmed guest. For more information, please visit, http://www.911families.org/.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the 10th anniversary of September 11th. Although, I didn’t lose anyone close to me, the tragic impact of that day weighs heavily on my heart. And as much as I love fashion, I wondered how I could approach this assignment with respect and compassion. I was immensely proud to see many designers offering their support to the surviving loved ones and the courageous service personnel. (They are NYC’s backbone—who not only risked their lives that day and have helped rebuild the city since, but who continue to keep us safe everyday.) Admittedly, as a native New Yorker, I am extremely biased, but on 9/11/11 in a show of solidarity, the fashion community united and demonstrated once again whyNew York is the BEST CITY IN THE WORLD!!!


For additional information, please visit http://www.dvf.com/    

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