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Diane von Furstenberg celebrates 40 years of her iconic wrap dress

A model walks the runway in the Diane

A model walks the runway in the Diane von Furstenberg Fall 2014 show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014. Credit: AP / Seth Wenig

Inspiration: “A glamorous vagabond … she’s on the run with her dreams and colors,” says Diane von Furstenberg in program notes. She went on to explain that this woman – “a painter, a poet, a dancer, a free spirit” – is the muse for her  which her famous wrap dress. And on Sunday night, she celebrated the 40th anniversary of the iconic dress, with a fashion show aptly called “Bohemian Wrapsody.”

The vibe: Set in the new “hot” space – Spring Studios on Varick Street, close to the Holland Tunnel (more on this later) – the crowd was bursting at the seams.   The audience was a crazy quilt of notables including Tommy Hilfiger, Nicky and Paris Hilton (natch, in wrap dresses) and Fran Lebowitz. A live performance by singer-songwriter St. Vincent backed the runway, and confetti dropped from the ceiling at the show’s end.

Lust-o-meter: Sure, sure, there were some great wrap dresses – a couple of gorgeous numbers in the finale selection of 15 gold frocks called “Golden Bouquet” – but von Furstenberg can cut a coat. One brown and blue cocoon job with big abstract leaves that topped a crystal laden tunic: killer. Also great: a stretch velvet sheath with circular cut-outs, and some lush gypsy florals.

What the…?  We’re trying to figure out why designers think showing at Spring Studios amps up the cool factor.  Ask most anyone, and they’ll tell you – it’s hard to get to, ungainly and, worst of all, scarily hard to get out of. At one point several elevators stopped working, the stairwells were closed off, and people were being herded into the working elevators like cattle. We were pressed up close enough to the actress Bella Thorne as to read her text messages – not on purpose – but when it’s on your nose, it’s hard not to look.  

Our take: A great show, but we wish it had been in the tents or another venue in which von Furstenberg’s natural exuberance wasn’t hampered by the hassle.


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