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Diane von Furstenberg’s Legendary America Woman

Godfrey Deeny
February 14th, 2011 @ 00:45 AM - New York

America as a seductive culture, its ladies as the self-assured epitome of chic and women as sophisticated travelers were the themes of the latest Diane von Furstenberg runway show staged Sunday afternoon, Feb. 13, in New York.

Entitled “American Legends,” this fall 2011 collection was an ode to how the independent sense of style of America’s ladies has always exerted a special fascination internationally.

Pairing easy to understand yet charming to admire heart print jackets, or sending out models in black crepe dresses with slashes of abstract gold and pomegranate captured the élan women from the U.S. can always bring when visiting the Continent.

“I wanted the allure of an American woman, and why she can always seduce a European man,” explained DVF’s design director Yvan Mispelaere backstage, mentioning Millicent Rogers and Gloria Vanderbilt as inspirations.

“And, most important, the woman right beside me in the studio, of course, Diane herself,” he added.

For their finale, the duo ramped up the action, with a great series of crepe cocktails embellished with miniature metallic flowers and two glittering sequined columns.

Yet with culottes and wide-brimmed riding hats on the catwalk and Clint Eastwood’s "A Fistful of Dollars" theme music on the sound track, it felt a little like The Good, The Bad and The Gaucho. The bad being the hard-edged mood expressed in punchy black suede vests and brilliant faux stained-glass boots.

The design combo also radically reduced the number of prints in this show, and mixed the few graphic fabrics with mono-color skirts in blood orange or sleek silk singlets.

“I think we needed that, a little more understatement in the prints and a little more eclecticism,” said von Furstenberg, after taking an extended tour of the runway hand in hand with Mispelaere, her face still bearing purple bruises from a skiing accident in Aspen, Colorado last month.

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