My Dress My Accident

The Tenth Annual CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Awards, New York, America - 11 Nov 2013.An Experiment


Diane von Furstenberg says her iconic wrap dress was an “accident”.

The legendary fashion designer came up with the well-known piece 40 years ago and it has since become her most recognised creation.

This week in Los Angeles an exhibition, titled Journey of a Dress, is set to open with a launch party at the Wilshire May Company building. The event will showcase wrap dresses from over the years as well as a photo time line of its greatest moments, such as the first sample sent to the 1976 Newsweek cover.

Diane can’t believe how much attention the design has generated and admits it all came about from a bit of experimenting.

“[It] took on a life of its own. It made me live an American dream at the age of 26. That’s pretty major,” she told WWD. “I have had a very interesting relationship with the wrap dress because the truth is, it happened by accident. First it was a little wrap top inspired by what ballerinas wear, with a matching skirt, and then I made it into a dress.”

Diane herself will feature in the exhibition through mannequins modelled after her own facial features, and portraits of her by artists such as Andy Warhol, Barbara Kruger and Chuck Close.

There will also be works from her own personal collection by painters such as by Anh Duong and Zhang Huan.

Diane was just 22 when she launched her fist line in New York. She re-launched the wrap dress in 1997 after it had disappeared from retailers and it became a big success once again.

Although she confessed sometimes the dress annoys her, she can’t help but feel grateful for it putting her on the map.

“The first time around, the goal was to be independent. The second time, my goal was to show the world it hadn’t been an accident the first time around,” Diane added. “And now that I have a past, and it’s all here, now it’s about legacy, which is where I’m really going to put the engine forward so that I can leave something behind. Sometimes I’ve resented the wrap, meaning I design other things, but this [exhibition] is about honouring that dress which has given me my freedom, my independence, paid my bills, made me famous and all that,” she said.

© Cover Media / sydney4women

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