Diane von Furstenberg and Yvan Mispelaere looked to the skyscrapers of New York, the sunsets of California, and the saturated gardens of the South — in short, all the vast inspiration the US has to offer — for Resort 2013. Titled Zoom, the collection was filled with many of the same easy silhouettes that Mispelaere has excelled at in recent seasons: cape-back jackets, loosely gathered dresses, and softly flowing tuxedo pants. Head-to-toe prints — some geometric and based on the cobblestones near von Furstenberg's Meatpacking studio, others looser and inspired by the Rockabilly playfulness of Memphis — were also a draw; they covered everything from silky tees to pleated skirts.
"You would be surprised: Whether she is Russian or Brazilian or French or American, my consumer is the same," she said. "But it is great to design for Chinese women, because they have great bodies. They are slim and have tiny waists, so it's nice."
The designer was quick to point out that more than their figures, she admires women for their strength — and that empowering women has always been a central tenant of her work.
"What I like about women is always strength," the designer explained. "All women are the same really: They are strong, but they are afraid of their own strength."
One such strong woman was von Furstenberg's mother, a German prisoner of war. "She went to the death camps and survived. She weighed 49 pounds, so she wasn't supposed to survive," von Furstenberg said. "She always told me that God made her survive so that she could give me life. So my birth was a miracle, and therefore I carry her flag."
And it seems von Furstenberg will continue to carry that flag wherever she goes. "I think I will be DVF till the end. I don't want to retire from life. I am too engaged, I am too curious, too interested, and I still think I can make an impact. And in this part of my life, I want to make an impact."
Those stories here in our daily news roundup.
- Menswear designer Adam Kimmel will take a yearlong break from designing after he ships his Fall 2012 collection to stores. He'll use the time off to "enrich my vision, spend time with my family, and explore a number of creative arenas that have interested me while I'm still young." [WWD]
- Diane von Furstenberg was instated as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America for the fourth time last week, extending her tenure until at least 2014. The group also approved 26 new members, including Joseph Altuzarra, Carly Cushnie, Michelle Ochs, and Von Furstenberg's right-hand man Yvan Mispelaere. [The Cut]
- J.Crew will make its introduction to the Chinese market through a partnership with retailer Lane Crawford. The store will play host to a curated selection of the retailer's Fall 2012 women's ready-to-wear and shoes, menswear, and accessory collections. "When it comes to editing and presenting collections with a creative and elevated point of view, no one does it better," said J.Crew CEO Mickey Drexler. [Fashion Etc.]
Sample sales are a sweet perk if you live in NYC, but leave it to Diane von Furstenberg to share the love nationwide. That's right, starting today, you can shop DVF's delectable — and majorly discounted — array of pretty printed dresses, tops, bottoms, and accessories marked up to a whopping 70 percent off right from the comfort of your home. Here are the details: just log on to DVFSampleSale.com and sign up to be a "DVF Insider" to gain exclusive early access to the sale today, or just wait until tomorrow for the site to go live nationwide. Who's excited?
Amanda Brooks says one woman's blog about country living is what inspired her take a break from working in fashion — but her friends in the industry say they have no doubt she'll be back in the game soon.
Brooks recently told The New York Times that Ree Drummond's blog The Pioneer Woman — which details Drummond's life on a cattle ranch in Oklahoma — gave her the idea to give up her job as fashion director at Barneys last March to take a yearlong sabbatical from life in New York City. "It's the idea of having a career on your own terms, anywhere," said Brooks, who's moving with her family to England for a year. While she's there she'll blog and work on a new book.
Perhaps Brooks's quest for life on her own terms started two years ago, when Diane von Furstenberg wrote the foreward for Brooks's book I Love Your Style, the designer told her, "It's time for you to figure out who is Amanda Brooks. Not Amanda Brooks who works for so-and-so. It’s time to define yourself as a woman." Below, some of Brooks's friends comment on how she's defined herself so far.
Diane von Furstenberg: "When I met her, she was very kind of WASPy and I didn't even think she was that pretty. But I loved watching her grow. She learns, she absorbs, she’s very entrepreneurial and she’s very nice."
Mark Dowley, Brooks's former boss at William Morris Endeavor: "Amanda is a complete person. Because she's so pulled together, she's incredibly disarming, but that can also be very intimidating."
Amy Astley, editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue: "She's a jock. She's the girl who is swimming in the sound in April. She's not a prissy fashion girl at all."
Artist Rachel Feinstein: "Amanda is fearless. If she decides to do something, she isn't worried about what people might think. . . She's incredibly genuine. It's hard for people to realize that someone like her is actually how she is. People want to dislike her because they can’t believe she’s had all this."
>> With a list of nominees that includes The Row's Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen and Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez — not to mention a list of honorees that includes Rei Kawakubo and Johnny Depp — this year's CFDA Awards promise to be extra-exciting. At the announcement event in March — held at Diane von Furstenberg's studio and attended by Phillip Lim, Joe Zee, and Rachel Roy — the anticipation was nearly palpable.
"Winning a CFDA Fashion Award is the highest and one of the most coveted honors one can receive in our industry," CEO Steven Kolb said as he announced the nominees and honorees. For a complete list of those who just may receive that great honor on June 4 — as well as a list of those who definitely will, via the Council's prestigious achievement awards — see below. Then, get excited for next week's big show — which will be br>broadcast online for the first time ever this year — with an inside peek at the announcement event.
Womenswear Designer of the Year Nominees
Ashley & Mary-Kate Olsen for The Row
Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler
Menswear Designer of the Year Nominees
Accessory Designer of the Year Nominees
Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler
Swarovski Award For Emerging Talent in Womenswear Nominees
Chris Peters & Shane Gabier for Creatures of the Wind
Max Osterweis & Erin Beatty for Suno
Swarovski Award For Emerging Talent in Menswear Nominees
Swarovski Award For Emerging Talent in Accessory Design
Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
International Award Winner
Eleanor Lambert Founders Award Winner
Eugenia Sheppard Media Award Winners
Scott Schuman & Garance Doré
Fashion Icon Award Winner
Happy Friday — you know what that means, it's time to announce our CelebStyle top stars of the week! This week's standouts were Emma Roberts in a smashing black-on-black Valentino ensemble, Jessica Alba in an unparalleled street-chic look complete with a fresh Tory Burch fedora, Solange Knowles in a stunning Rachel Roy gown with a sparkling Edie Parker clutch, and a few more top trendsetters including Diane Kruger, Krysten Ritter, Chrissy Teigen, and Estella Warren. Step inside to see who was crowned a CelebStyle top star, why we loved their looks, and how you can re-create them yourself.
Lea Michele dazzled on the red carpet in a navy sequined Diane von Furstenberg dress and matching clutch, Christian Louboutin shoes, and Lorraine Schwartz earrings. The result? An utterly sophisticated Old Hollywood ensemble that was simultaneously glamorous and mysterious. We love her wavy, tousled updo, highlighting stunning jeweled earrings and a delicate silver fringed pendant necklace. What's your take on her ravishing ensemble?
Polka dots have become a staple in many women's closets, including a handful of celebs, who have worn the playful pattern in a ton of fabulous ways. Some, like Nicky Hilton, have opted to edge up their polka dots via leather. Others, like Diane Kruger and Heidi Klum, have sported polka-dot frocks for fancy occasions, while Rose Byrne has shown off an office-chic way to sport dots. If you need ideas on how to work your polka dots, step inside to see 20 celebs and how they work their dots for day and night.
Gwyneth Paltrow shared a laugh with her friend Amanda de Cadenet at a launch party for her new show The Conversation in NYC on Sunday. Diane von Furstenberg played host for the evening, throwing the star-studded bash at her studio. Other celebrity attendees included Diane Kruger, Rashida Jones, and Malin Akerman. Amanda was feted by some of her other A-list friends like Demi Moore and Rachel Zoe at another kickoff event in LA earlier last month.
Amanda has been able to get many of these big names to stop by her show for intimate chats already and TrèsSugar recently talked to her about the project. She says The Conversation With Amanda de Cadenet is for "women's women" and she revealed that the area some of her subjects are most wary to talk about is their relationships. In fact, at the soiree when asked if she could interview anyone, who would it be, Gwyneth replied, "My husband. It would be really cool. I'd ask him a bunch of questions."