Over the weekend, I had a chance to hang out with my friend Elise and her boyfriend John. Elise was wearing a cute long sleeve printed dress with a great cut - fitted through the bodice, with a waist tie and a flared skirt. When I commented on it, she said "thanks, it was given to me by a neighbor." We continued talking about it, how it had a great print (white tulips on navy) and how it looked very modern, not at all like a costume-y 60's dress. Then Elise's mom chimed in and to be honest, I don't remember what she said. All I know is that at some point she said the words
"Diane von Furstenberg".
Me: so, are you telling me that dress is a vintage Diane von Furstenberg?
Elise's mom: yes!
Me: Elise, why didn't you tell me it was a Diane von Furstenberg??!
Elise: who's Diane von Furstenberg?
Me: ....(jaw on floor)
I honestly don't know which was more shocking to me, that the dress was a vintage DvF or that Elise didn't know who she is!
So, to review:
Diane von Furstenberg became a fashion designer when she was engaged to be married to the Prince of Furstenberg and said to herself that she didn't want to be known only for marrying a prince. Their marriage didn't last, but her career as a designer did. Von Furstenberg invented the wrap dress and it became such a phenomenon that she was featured on the cover of
Because the wrap dress was such an important influence in women's fashion, it is now part of the collection in the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Von Furstenberg took a break from designing, returned in 1997, and has continued producing successful collections since then.
Based on the information found here, it looks like the dress Elise has is from a very early DvF collection, probably late 60's or early 70's. Apparently the umlaut got dropped sometime during the mid to late 70's. Since DvF is famous for her prints and flattering dress cuts, it's not suprising that it still looks so relevant. Regardless of whether you know who Diane von Furstenberg is or not, you have to agree that Elise looks adorable in her dress and that her neighbor has fabulous style.