Still stinging from a lost Olympic bid? If anyone could remind a Chicagoan about the beauty of Rio de Janeiro, it’s Diane von Furstenberg.
Fashion icon and designer von Furstenberg braved a chilly Chicago night on Nov. 5 to introduce her Cruise/Pre-Spring 2009/2010 Collection, “Her name is Rio,” to 300 admiring guests at Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue. Guests were treated to a runway show, tropical drinks and spicy South American appetizers.
Inspired by her travels to Brazil, von Furstenberg’s collection has a little bit of everything. Whimsical sheaths with rouched backs. One-piece ruffled jumpsuits. Polka dot maxi dresses. Retrofit bikinis. Slouchy hobos and chic sunglasses. Strappy sandals and color, glorious color—in hot pink, teal, yellow, and green—the very thing that will rescue us from a winter filled with black and gray.
“The older I get, the younger my customers seem to be,” laughed von Furstenberg at the close of the show as she eyed the front row. “But I seem to make my biggest impact at the beginning of a girl’s life. Luckily our lives have many beginnings.”
Von Furstenberg first arrived in the fashion world in 1972 with her wrap dress. By 1976, she had sold millions. And after a brief hiatus from fashion in 1997, von Furstenberg reemerged on the New York fashion scene with the re-launch of the dress that started it all. Many may not realize that to this day, von Furstenberg’s company, DVF, reissues the wrap dress twice each year. “It’s exciting to see the dress live on,” von Furstenberg says.
DVF is a company of 150 women.
“I like to think that we empower women through fashion, as mentors, and through our philanthropy,” von Furstenberg explains. “I always knew the woman I wanted to become. I want to help women achieve that same dream for themselves.”
Von Furstenberg hopes her clothes will help. “When a woman has my clothes in her closet, I hope she looks at them as her friends. If she’s not feeling well, she can surround herself with ‘these friends’ and be ready for anything that life puts in her path.”
To learn more about von Furstenberg (pictured here with me!) and see photos of her upcoming collections, visit dvf.com. DVF is also available at neimanmarcus.com.
All photos on this page by Dan Rest.