New York Fashion Week: The Return Of Diane Von Furstenberg

JESS CARTNER-MORLEY, The Guardian, February 11, 2013

In the accompanying notes to her latest collection, Diane Von Furstenberg says that the archetypal DVF woman "is the rock star and the muse of her own life".

That attitude is the DNA of the DVF brand. Von Furstenberg's life story is a biopic waiting to happen: the self-made millionaire who married into (and then divorced from) German royalty, partied with Andy Warhol at Studio 54, lost her fortune and won it again, got namechecked in a Dolly Parton song (Working Girl) and is still, at 66, having a high old time as a grand dame of New York. Without Von Furstenberg's heritage, the fashion industry might have tired of a brand that riffs endlessly on the theme of the feisty independent woman. The backstory gives it heart.

This season, for the first time in years, Von Furstenberg took her end-of-show bow alone. In recent years, she has walked the catwalk hand in hand with her creative director – Yvan Mispelaere, and before that, Nathan Jenden. Mispelaere left the company five months ago, and has not been replaced. It is understood that Von Furstenberg is now directing the design team herself, without a chief designer between her and the team.

Certainly, this was a collection that referenced the DVF archive with renewed enthusiasm. Whenever the wrap dress, Von Furstenberg's most iconic creation, plays a starring role in a collection it seems to symbolise that she herself is the protagonist of the season's story. And this collection paid homage to the era of DVF's youth: the head-to-toe lipstick and wave prints, swirling maxis, Ossie Clark-esque dresses and heady shades of lipstick, tobacco and turquoise that infuse the collection with the intoxicating glamour of 1970s New York.

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