“I design for the woman who loves being a woman,” Dianve Von Furstenberg. Today I finally committed to the adventure to LACMA where I had the opportunity to experience the legendary Diane Von Furstenberg’s exhibit “Journey Of A Dress.” Diane Von Furstenberg has always intrigued me. Yes, don’t get me wrong the title of “Queen of Eccentric” goes to my beloved Betsy Johnson, but Diane Von Furstenberg is a spirited fashion queen in her own right. And while I had known and respected the iconic designer for years, I feel like I truly did not understand her until today.
I have tirelessly attempted to educate myself on the fashion icons that regardless of passing years or decades ago, have left an imprint on the fashion world only to change things forever. Chanel, McQueen all have left permanent marks and opened up the fashion worlds eyes to concepts once frowned upon. Jersey knits? Antelope heels? Sure these were once thought to be strange notions to traditional fashion, although I guess antelope heels will only ever be ready to wear in the closet of fashion elite such as Ms. Gaga. (Yup, she’s probably the only one.) And while every designer strives to become the next Great One, only a handful achieve fashion house, or iconic status. I did not realize the power and influence Diane Von Furstenberg has had on this crazy world of fashion that I whole heartedly love, until today. I knew who she was. I knew she was featured countless times Sex And the City, which automatically elevated her status to awesome. I’ve seen her in interviews and she has always made me chuckle with her outspoken responses to journalists questions. She’s always been honest and clearly not afraid to speak her mind. Now, I have finished some biographies on notorious designers and one thing I’ve come to realize is that while yes, every single one that “made it to the top” incurred some sort of struggle, for whatever reason women experienced the most. Naturally I toes understand that women have been designing or making their own dresses since the invention of a sewing needle, but the concept of creating a successful business out of such things almost seemed trivial until Coco Chanel came along. (At least so far that I’ve read.) One of my favorite things about dear Coco is that she made it a point to pay back her initial investor, a male companion who perhaps never believed she could make a name for herself, and seemed (again, at least according to some of the biographies I’ve read) to enjoy telling this male investor, his money was no longer needed because she was making plenty of her own. In similar fashion (pun slightly intended), Furstenberg has always seemed to design from the heart not just for the every day woman, but to prove with her designs that females should be embraced as powerful and strong individuals. Just like her prints, women should feel as pretty as a runway model, as important as a label, confident to bare a little skin in a wrap dress, and as powerful as the woman who makes them. Thank you for the journey Diane. Cheers to decades more of style!