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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



.

Diane von Furstenberg: Schizophrenically Vreeland

Godfrey Deeny
September 08th, 2008 @ 00:51 AM - New York

New York’s latest fashion season opened on Thursday, Sept. 4 but the first significant runway show was on Sunday, Sept. 7 when the chic and the celebrated Diane von Furstenberg staged a curiously off key moment that said little about what women should be wearing in the future.

Staged in the main tent of Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue, the show attracted every American and visiting editor of note plus plenty of boldface name dazzle including Uma Thurman, Venus Williams, Eva Longoria and Jennifer Lopez.

The designer’s latest foray down the catwalk was billed in her program notes as an homage to Diane Vreeland, but there was precious little of the great Vogue editor’s aesthetic legacy or oeuvre in these clothes.

Instead we had an odd mish-mash of overwrought prints used in rather formulaic pieces of apparel from the designer’s signature wrap dresses to predictable tank dresses and mini kaftans. Washed out “whisper” dresses and aged jacquard and chiffon dresses that added – rather than, as they are meant to do, subtracted – decades to the models were among the unfortunate moments of the show. And a particularly drab ensemble worn by model Coco Rocha – mini lace sweater and flared jeans – was the kind of look one associates with Midwestern trade fair or an Eastern Europe salon rather than in central Manhattan.

Vreeland’s famed remark that pink was the navy blue of India remains one of fashion’s greatest insights, but there was no vision in this dull show whose selection of clothes did little justice to von Furstenberg, normally gifted with great sense of Pop panache and hipster lady chic.

What’s usually great about DVF’s clothes is that they impart on the customer a sense of belonging to an understated elite, and do so with relatively little pain at the cash register. Not so this Sunday, a show that may have won the designer cheers from those standing at the back, but perplexed grimaces from certain front row critics.

One could admire some nattily cut three piece cotton pant suits, craftily cut cardigans in hues like magenta and the odd deep purple tunic. Plus a metallic moment that featured good sequined tuxedo shorts, improbable but agreeably wacky, and some great bags, including a faux chain mail tote were all admirable, even if not enough to save this spring summer 2009 collection, surely DVF’s least distinguished this, still brief, century.

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