There’s much to be said for professional self-awareness. Even on the front end of her still-new collaboration with co-designer Yvan Mispelaere, Diane von Furstenberg possesses it in abundance, which is why she opened and closed her fall show with wrap looks. As she also knows the value of constant motion, those were tweaked for newness: the first, a gaucho jumpsuit spin on the house classic; the last, a divine sequined diva gown.
Both strong takes, for sure. But then, von Furstenberg and Mispelaere were inspired by strong women they consider “American Legends,” specifically Millicent Rogers, Diana Vreeland and Gloria Vanderbilt. Before the show, von Furstenberg said that meant runway explorations of “rodeo, editor in chief and society lady.” The emphasis was definitely on the first part of the equation, showing up in bold Aztec patterns, major fringe and all sorts of gaucho accents. More clearly citified inspirations were revealed in some smart coats, sportif layerings and racy printed pajamas “like the ones I used to wear to Studio 54,” von Furstenberg offered.
Those prints were just part of the fabric interest; the collection also featured high-impact fabric plays, colorblocking, shots of lamé and some interesting, young embroideries. While at times the visual bravado veered toward excess, at its best — for example, a jacket, shirt and pants in a mesmerizing mix of blues or an inventively bejeweled column — it delivered a sassy take on chic.