Yesterday was a ‘bucket list’ type of day. I finally got to meet and interview (!) the iconic fashion designer, Diane Von Furstenberg.
I idolize DVF. Not only because she’s powerful and renowned enough to be known by an acronym (true boss status) but because she embodies so many traits that I (and many other women I know) aspire to embody, too: confidence, talent, determination, independence, charisma, and of course, sheer, unabashed glamour...
The occasion was a Soho House Q&A to celebrate DVF’s L.A. exhibition ‘Journey of a Dress’ – itself a commemoration of 40 years of her iconic wrap dress design. Worn by everyone from Madonna to Michelle Obama, the dress is one of those genius pieces that looks good on everyone, regardless of age or body type. Unsurprisingly, it has sold in its millions.
The exhibit is an equally impressive venture; featuring a roomful of the wrap dress’ most successful iterations, plus a separate collection of portraits of Diane, as captured by Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, and Helmut Newton. But the star of the show was, of course, Diane herself: clad in leopard print, gold hoops glinting, legs crossed, hair tousled, sexy as ever at the age of 67. Here are just a few of the DVFisms that we heard over the course of the night.
“Even if there were no more designers, fashion would continue. Because fashion is a way of being. It’s music, it’s food, it’s everything. There’s no way you can predict where it’s going next.”
“One of my habits is to make sure that the first email I send everyday is one that doesn’t benefit me. With email you can do so much–you can introduce one person to another, and change that person’s life. And it doesn’t cost you anything, except a little attention.”
“My career has had three distinctive periods. The first period was my twenties. My goal then was independence. The second period was when I went back to work as the ‘comeback kid’. My goal then was to show myself, and the world, that [my success] hadn’t been an accident the first time around. Now, my goal is to put it all together in a package and really figure out what it stands for, and make sure that it will outlast me. So this period is about legacy.”
“I’m always inspired by a woman, and she’s always the same woman. She might be going on a trip, or heading into a meeting... Sometimes she’s a goddess, or a princess, or a working girl, but she’s always pretty much always the same woman. And the clothes are supposed to be effortless, sexy, and easy to put in a little suitcase. And if the design is not all those things, then it’s not on brand.”
“Christian Lacroix once told me: Women designers make clothes, and men designers make fashion.”
“As a designer, my mission in life is to make women feel comfortable. We sell confidence, because confidence is what makes you beautiful.”
“My clothes are supposed to be those friends that you have in the closet, when you wake up in the morning, and your eyes are swollen, and you have your period, and you feel like shit; and my clothes are your friends.”
“The most important advice I could give anyone is that the most important relationship you have in life is the one you have with yourself.”
“I say to my granddaughters: every night when you go to bed, you should be thankful for what you have, and you should dream about the woman you want to be. You have to have an idea of the kind of person you want to be, and try to move towards it. You have to be true to yourself.”