Video: Greatest designer since Chanel to create "a dress that fits all"
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 13:10
There are actors of one role, and there are designers of one thing. Diane von Fürstenberg has come up with a dress that, according to fashion critics, "fits all women." Almost everyone has at least one of these - comfortable and at the same time emphasizing the figure. The wrap dress, born in the 70s, does not lose its relevance to this day, and the DVF brand annually releases collections that repeat this iconic model - and every time it becomes a real fashion event …
1942 year. A man with forged documents in the name of Leon Desmet - a native of Kishinev, a Jew Lipa Khalfin, who had lived in Brussels for a decade - crosses the Swiss border. After the war, he would open a small electrical business that would soon become the largest electric lamp company in Belgium, and Leon Desmet would become "Monsieur Electrolamp" - a wealthy, famous and respected man. In 1946, he married Lilian Nihmiyas, a Sephardic Jewess who miraculously survived the Auschwitz concentration camp. This couple will spend thirteen years together. In the very first year of marriage, they will have a daughter, Diana, who is destined to make one discovery - not a cure for cancer and not a perpetual motion machine, but just a style of dress. A dress style that will change the fashion world forever.
Now Diana is five years old, and her father speaks Russian to her - since then it seems to her that all Russians talk about love. A few years later, she understands what her mother is talking about when she says “you shouldn't have been born” not with bitterness, but with triumph, as if talking about a miracle - after all, Lillian herself should not have been in this world anymore. Now Diana is thirteen, and after the divorce of her parents, she travels from one private boarding house to another. Spain, Great Britain, Switzerland … Diana is twenty-one, she lives with her mother in Geneva, studies at the economics department of the University of Geneva. Here she meets a prince - a real prince from the Swabian princely family, Egon von Fürstenberg.
Egon gave her love that lasted only five years, two children and a loud surname. In 1970, this surname was already sounded throughout Europe - Diana von Fürstenberg released the first collection of women's clothing. She could not be just a beautiful woman - and Diana remains an incredible beauty even now - inactive in a luxurious apartment. She didn't want to turn her life into a series of dull tricks and attempts to escape boredom - she wanted to create, create something … something meaningful. All her life Diana dreamed of compensating for the suffering endured by her family with some important, no, great deed - but nothing came to her mind.
She was engaged in photography, worked as an assistant at a textile factory, tried to get a job with Diana Vreeland - as assistant editor-in-chief of the American edition of Vogue. Vrilan refused her, but she praised her drawings and recommended that she start designing clothes. It was necessary to start somewhere - and after some experiments, both successful and not very successful, Diane von Fürstenberg made that very dress.
She called it "a piece of fabric with sleeves" - nothing special, something like a jersey robe. But it was this that brought Diana success and fame in the fashion world. Then there were several years of stormy social life. Diana danced with Bianca Jagger, did not miss a single party, was friends with Andy Warhol, posed in her “newborn” dress in advertising for her own brand. “Put on a dress and feel like a woman,” the slogan said.
Indeed, the elegant and at the same time cozy creations of Diana von Fürstenberg emphasized the figure and at the same time did not restrict movement, and therefore many women liked it. This model with psychedelic bright prints became a real symbol of 70s fashion and a thing that was associated with feminism - after all, it gave women freedom and comfort. By 1985, five million pieces of the "piece of fabric with sleeves" wrap dress had been sold, and Diana was named "the greatest designer since Coco Chanel."
Around the same time, Diana suddenly stopped her creative activity, sold her New York apartment and left for Paris, deciding to leave the fashion industry at the peak of her success. There she did not sit idle, launching several businesses - the French publishing house Salvy, a cosmetics line and a delivery service.
However, in the late 90s, her daughter Tatyana (a big fan of Russian culture, Diana named her after one of Mayakovsky's muses - Tatyana Yakovleva) persuaded her to revive the brand. The vintage fashion and the rethinking of the trends of the past caused a huge wave of interest in vintage DVF dresses - it was high time for their creator to return to fashionable Olympus.
Now she is reworking the classic model, combining different materials and prints, offering clients dresses-coats and dresses-shirts, using pleating, an oversized silhouette and layering, but at the same time stubbornly follows the original concept of a cocoon thing that adapts to the wearer's figure. "Aren't you tired of this model?" - sometimes journalists ask Diana. "It pays my bills!" - the designer laughs.
And in the early 2000s, Diana found her new love. She married media mogul Barry Diller, chief executive of Paramount Pictures. They had known each other for almost thirty years, but only now they realized that they could not live without each other.
Once, sorting through family archives, Diana discovered the diary of a certain Sima Weisman. As it turned out, the woman was a Jewish gynecologist. During the war, she was deported from Paris and sent to Auschwitz. After a short study of the family tree, letters and diaries, Diana came to the conclusion that this woman is her own aunt, her father's sister. She contributed to the publication of Sima Weissman's memoirs of life in a concentration camp. These diaries have been translated into several European languages. In this way, Diana, who has always felt a powerful connection with her Jewish roots, contributed to the preservation of the memory of the Holocaust.