Jonathan Saunders is coming up on a year at Diane von Furstenberg. “Eleven and a half months,” as he pointed out. The winter collection — “formerly known as resort,” said Saunders — is his fourth for the house. Meanwhile, his first collection is still in stores now, including the DVF flagship on 14th Street, where the winter presentation was held on the second floor.
The setup made for an easy comparison between Saunders’ debut effort and his most recent: After a very strong start, he’s kept the momentum up over the course of his first year. Of the several creative directors who have gone through DVF’s doors in the recent past, Saunders seems to have a grip on how to finesse the brand backbone — color, print, cheerful glamour — with an eye toward sophistication and modernization without going too far in either direction. Working with bias-cut silhouettes and simple shapes has been key to reining in the mixed prints and color.
This lineup was “rooted in antiquity,” Saunders said. “I was looking at Victorian textile design, traditional arts and crafts, and decorative patterns.” Those references came through in floral prints and rich colors — blue, pink, bordeaux — on a ruched silk tulle dress and puffer parka, and the structure of a corset top and simple dress, but there was nothing antique about the attitude. Many dresses had long sleeves and body-conscious lines to temper big prints or micro sequins. A T-shirt with a diagonal ruffle across the chest and mixed print paneled skirt was a nice sporty feminine mix. Jacquard suits and striped slips captured the house patterns. Color furs — real and faux — and flared leg denim added a fun, flirty, spirit, while a spare bonded leather and velvet jacket over a khaki and red striped kilt offered something more subdued.
See more from the 2018 Resort Collections:
Oscar de la Renta Resort 2018: Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim worked to keep the Oscar de la Renta loyalists happy while pitching to a new audience.
Narciso Rodriguez Resort 2018: Modernist couture references sculpted Rodriguez’s purist vision for resort.
Tory Burch Resort 2018: Friends and style icons Jackie O and Princess Elizabeth of Toro were Burch’s main muses.
Coach 1941 Resort 2018: Resort hits stores around holiday season, and Stuart Vevers’ collection was ready to party.