If anyone knows fashion’s Darwinian dynamics, it’s Diane von Furstenberg, a woman who has proven she can persevere. And what better time to flaunt those killer instincts, as von Furstenberg did with a fun, feisty collection of terrific real clothes and fanciful headgear. “It’s about survival,” said von Furstenberg at her studio a few days before the show, adding that, for fall, her girl is “a nomad. Everywhere she goes, she fits in.” By that, she must’ve been referring to the endless layering, mixing and matching possibilities she provided because, worn together, these clothes were the stand-out, look-at-me sort.


Von Furstenberg’s was a charming vagabond, decked in feral prints, fabulous, funky knits and loads of texture. The looks came pared down, as in the first slinky, leopard-print velvet dress, and piled on: One vibrant outfit featured a plaid mohair coat, over a ribbed knit turtle neck, plaid mohair mini and graphic, tribal-print leggings, a nearly ubiquitous effect that came in camouflage, animal prints and fluorescent varieties, and added a fresh, ferocious feeling to the lineup. Likewise for the kooky knit caps festooned with pom-poms, an allusion to faux fur, which von Furstenberg let fly on hats, handbags and the trim of a bouclé coat. While there was plenty of shine in sassy sequin shift dresses and the final metallic liquid jersey gown, some of the brightest moments came as homespun jackets, a few Navajo styles, beautifully done in purple and blue, in particular. Indeed, von Furstenberg showed a deft hand for earthy mixes, so much so that the graphic black-and-whites seemed out of place. Still, for all the primal references, this collection was highly evolved.

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