By the end of Nathan Jenden’s tenure as Diane von Furstenberg’s creative director, the collection had taken on an unapologetically girly spirit marked by festive pilings and explosions of stuff. Now it’s Yvan Mispelaere’s turn to interpret DVF’s printed and wrapped world. In what direction would he go? Show notes called the collection, Mispelaere’s first, “Goddess” and traced its inspiration back to an Isadora Duncan show in Paris, two references that were a little misleading in retrospect. It turned out this wasn’t an exercise in romantic Grecian draping, and there wasn’t a single silk scarf in sight. Nor was the first look, a jumpsuit version of DVF’s iconic printed wrap dress that fell on the bland side of the DVF vocabulary, an accurate harbinger of what was to come.
Mispelaere and von Furstenberg envisioned their goddess as an empowered, intellectual beauty, her messy librarian’s bun and John Lennon sunglasses radiating chic practicality. The pilings were out, and clean, crisp sportswear was in. The dominant look was for day, built out of lightweight silk separates — shorts, shirts and jackets that were tailored fluid ease. Done in solid, sporty brights, such as mint green and melon, the result was refreshingly pared down and grown up. Likewise the mix of dresses, mostly modern variations on a slip or a sheath. Of course, there was also an abundance of prints, here, blown-out and graphic, some so big they bordered on blinding. Mispelaere will have his chance to tame them. Because even though there’s new blood in the house, some things will never change.