n°92/ A Dress of Her Own

November 2013


by Nathalie Azoulai


Diane von Fürstenberg arrived in the fashion world in 1972 with her simple knit jersey wrap dress. It comes in all sleeve lengths and has a self-belt which ties around the waist, securing the dress closed. It fuses intelligence and sex appeal, business sense and glamour. Any woman can be in or out of it in less than a minute! And just like Coco Chanel, she chose jersey. « Male designers don't like jersey, she says. Why do we like jersey? Because we know how it moves with the body. » Married to some German prince, Diane could have lived like a princess if it wasn’t for her independent will. "I think that is the most important thing for me – and part of that was earning my own money." A statement that sounds like the English writer’s, Virginia Woolf, when she spoke of a room of one’s own every female artist should look for and hold to. By 1976, she had sold more than 5 million of this signature item, which had become iconic, both for the Studio 54 crowd and the Park Avenue set. But how did the whole thing really start ? When Von Fürstenberg saw Julie Nixon Eisenhower on television wearing one of her wrap tops with one of her skirts, she decided to combine the two garments in one.

 Diane von Fürstenberg