Page 24 - SilverKris March 2014

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Wrap star
Designer Diane von Furstenberg
shares with
LYNN
SEAH
her
thoughts about the seminal
dress that launched her career
40 years ago, and the inspiration
she gets from travelling.
I
n 1974, a simple printed
jersey dress took the
world by storm – with
its flattering silhouette
created by the clingy fabric
and the throw-on ease of the
wrap front. Today, that design
continues to be sported by
fashionable women like US
First LadyMichelle Obama
and Britain’s KateMiddleton.
The wrap dress was the
brainchild of the Belgian-
born designer Diane von
Furstenberg. The one-time
princess (she was once
married to German Prince
Egon von Furstenberg) is now
a self-made billionaire with a
luxury lifestyle brand whose
offerings are sold in over 55
countries. She has also been
the President of the Council of
Fashion Designers of America
since 2006.
On the dress that started
it all for her, she says, “It is all
about the woman and that
never goes out of style.” To
mark the 40th anniversary of
that iconic outfit, an exhibition,
Journey of a Dress, is now on
at theWilshireMay Company
Building in Los Angeles till
April 1. It traces the history of
the wrap dress and features
200mannequins wearing
variations of it.
The sexy, easy-to-wear
wrap dress came to symbolise
empowerment, of being able to
compete in a man’s world while
remaining feminine. And the
designer continues to create
with that modern woman in
mind. “I am inspired by women
and I design to inspire women,
so I am always watching
women when I travel... their
strength and how they carry
themselves,” she says.
Besides people-watching,
she also loves to hike when she
travels. “If there is any nature to
be explored, I will do that first.”
And the photographs of nature
that she takes could become
prints in her designs, or inspire
an entire collection.
The self-confessed nomad
(she travels often for both work
and pleasure) says, “There is
nothing more exciting to me
than boarding a plane alone...
that is the ultimate freedom.”
Her globetrotting ways have
made her an expert packer;
she is known for being an
extremely light traveller. “I like
to pack a few things that all
work together... a few prints
that can be mixed with base
colours. I design my collections
the same way.” Other strategic
items that are always in her
luggage include a statement
coat, a dress that doesn’t
wrinkle, her iPad, a scarf
and sunglasses.
The 67-year-old is famously
nonchalant about her wrinkles
but that does not mean she
does not pack any beauty
products. “I try to moisturise
even more intensely because
travelling can really dry out
your skin.” Elizabeth Arden
Eight Hour Cream Skin
Protectant, TracieMartyn
Firming Serum and Janet Sartin
Dual Performance foundation
are some favourites that she
travels with.
J