“Everybody’s asking me that. I’m thrilled! I worked on Tom for a year!” So exclaimed Diane von Furstenberg when asked about her mind-set going into Monday night’s CFDA Awards, when she would pass the torch of chairman to Tom Ford. (It turns out, she did so literally, giving him a torch she had made for Sunday night’s picnic at Liberty Island.) She spoke during an appointment for the collection she calls “Winter.”
Save for p.r. consultant Malcolm Carfrae, the session was a mini convocation of women, with chief executive officer Sandra Campos and Sabrina Shahnazarian who, as of this season, has formally assumed the role of brand director after working in the design studio.
For the most part, Shahnazarian had the floor while showing the clothes, with DVF interjecting when she felt a point needed to be made. Case in point: DVF noted that upon her arrival as ceo, Campos looked at four-plus decades’ worth of work and questioned the house founder, “Why don’t you realize what you have here?” Last week, Campos posted to the brand’s Instagram, “Diane von Furstenberg: In charge since ’72.”
That pithy one-liner foreshadowed the collection for which Shahnazarian immersed herself in the archives. She came out with a clear approach for the brand, moving ahead while judiciously pilfering the past. What DVF has long offered to women is the wardrobe version of empowerment tools, clothes in which to feel confident, strong, in control. The prints integral to the DVF DNA were bold and buoyant. Shahnazarian took inspiration from nature in agate and bark motifs. Along the way, she embraced a fabric taken and updated from the archives: easy-care, easy-to-wear mesh.
While the lineup featured some good-looking, separates, such as a notice-me yellow-and-black bark print coat over fluid pants, the focus was on those politely sensual, versatile dresses and this collection has plenty of pretty winners for DVF women to collect. It also has a ramped-up evening range, inspired directly, Campos said, by customer demand. These ranged from lovely prints, such as a crepe de chine agate-motif gown with a matching mesh wrap-top to a spare shirtdress over pajama pants, in allover micro sequins. Because sometimes, a girl just wants to sparkle.