Skip to main content

DVF: THE ORIGINAL WRAPPER


DVF: THE ORIGINAL WRAPPER
Harper's Bazaar - February 2014



For a woman whose life is so fabulously well documented, Diane von Furstenberg is not particularly nostalgic. "The best time of my life is now, because I have all the facts," the designer says. However, when coaxed to reflect on the inception of her iconic wrap dress (which turns 40 this year), von Furstenberg recalls: "My first goal was to be independent. I was working at Angelo Ferretti's textile factory in Rome. I was pregnant, I was engaged [to Egon von Furstenberg], and I was moving to America, but I wanted to keep working. So I created a top inspired by the kind that ballerinas wear over their tutu, with a matching skirt." 


That concept, what she calls "an old shape, like a kimono, crisscrossing over the body," evolved into a dress, rendered in printed jersey that sluiced over the female frame. "It was a nothing little dress, but it became a major thing—the easiest, simplest, most flattering thing a woman could wear." It also became the linchpin of her fashion empire. 

The dress now stars in an exhibition at L.A.'s Wilshire May Company Building and will feature prominently in von Furstenberg's upcoming book, The Woman I Wanted to Be. "Nobody ever thought my dress would be important. People said, 'Well, she's not really a designer.' But the truth is," she says, smiling, "I made a dress that was immortal. That dress taught me about women, confidence, designing. I owe everything to that dress."


Popular posts from this blog

Taking Tips From a Younger Generation

Phyllis Korkki, an assignment editor at The New York Times, visited the garment district in Manhattan to interview designers as part of a story for the newspaper’s Snapchat account. Credit George Etheredge/The New York Times
What Could I Possibly Learn From A Mentor Half My Age? Plenty.

How on earth did I become an “older worker?”

It was only a few years ago, it seems, that I set out to climb the ladder in my chosen field. That field happens to be journalism, but it shares many attributes with countless other workplaces. For instance, back when I was one of the youngest people in the room, I was helped by experienced elders who taught me the ropes.

Now, shockingly, I’m one of the elders. And I’ve watched my industry undergo significant change. That’s why I recently went searching for a young mentor — yes, a younger colleague to mentor me.

Discounts, Discovery & Delight: 3Ds for Retail Success

In fashion and retail, Dopamine is the drug of choice. Technically, Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of “desire.” Dopamine leaps across synapses in our brain to control our reward and pleasure centers. It enables craving. It induces repeat behaviors. It makes us want more. Therefore, it is in our best interest to create products and experiences which induce the release of dopamine in our consumers. We could use some dopamine for ourselves, too. In our fashion and retail world, there are three primary stimuli, "3Ds," we can control to deliver hits of dopamine: Discounts, Discovery and Delight.

Beware of Wombats & Other Vampires

You are surrounded by dangerous WOMBATS. They’re everywhere. Sometimes they hide in plain sight, easy to spot. Other times they are well camouflaged, requiring heightened awareness to identify them. You need to stay alert, it’s important to avoid them. WOMBATs resemble ordinary, productive tasks. However, they are vampires for time and resources, weapons of mass distraction.WOMBATs are seductive. Working on a WOMBAT feels productive.WOMBATs are bad for your career.WOMBATs are bad for your business.WOMBATs infiltrate your work day (and your personal time). Strike them down.WOMBATs may be be ingrained in your company culture: “We’ve always done it that way…” WOMBAT Metamorphosis Alert: A task or project that wasproductive in the pastcanevolve into a WOMBAT in today's environment.Your comfort zone is populated with WOMBATs.More on comfort zones, here.Some people are WOMBATs in disguise. Stay away from them, they are vampire WOMBATs.If you don’t control your WOMBATs, your WOMBATs will…