NEW YORK, United States — The first piece of art Diane von Furstenberg ever bought was a painting of Fortuna, Roman goddess of luck. It still hangs in her bedroom. There must have been a number of moments over the years when she felt like thanking Fortuna. Her new collection might have been one more.
DVF was calling it a reboot, what with the arrival of her new chief executive Paolo Riva, and a whole tribe of young models backstage who seemed to have taken to heart her book “The Woman I Wanted to Be”. She said that Jourdan Dunn even had the words “Fear is not an option” — the greatest lesson DVF’s formidable mum ever taught her — tattooed on her arm.
As for the collection itself? In that painting on DVF’s bedroom wall, Fortuna is barefoot, butterfly-winged, running wild in nature, and that was the free spirit with which she wanted to infuse her new designs. She asked herself, ‘why are some women muses forever on designers’ mood boards?’. Inevitably, the answer took her back to a time in her own life when freedom and individuality ruled supreme.
With manes of hair pulled to one side and casually clasped with flowers, her models looked like the glamazons who ruled Studio 54 — Jerry Hall, Lisa Taylor and DVF herself. The classic wrap dress was freshened with a patchwork print of peace lilies, like a souvenir of a summer spent yachting round the Med. Glamorously gilded suede was cut into a trim shorts suit, or a ruched onesie. White tulle embroidered with gold butterflies and wheat sheaves made a gown for new goddesses or, one-shouldered and cut short, a classical piece that might have graced Diana the Huntress. Yes, it was all quite camp, but its confident exuberance had a convincing ring. This lifestyle existed. Women lived it.
And, just for the record, the muse who will never leave DVF’s moodboard is Marlene Dietrich.