A sweeping biography of one of the most influential and controversial legends of late twentieth-century fashion, an iconic designer whose colorful creations, including the wrap dress, captured the modern feminist spirit.
The daughter of a Holocaust survivor and wife of an Austrian nobleman, Diane von Furstenberg burst onto New York s fashion scene in 1969, and within a few years became an international sensation with her colorful wrap dress in printed jersey. Embraced by millions of American women of all ages, sizes, and shapes, the dress became a cult object and symbol of women s liberation, tied inexorably to the image of youth, independence, and sex Diane herself projected.
In this masterful biography, Gioia Diliberto brings Diane s extraordinary life into focus, from her post-World-War-II childhood in Belgium, through her rise to the top of the fashion world during the decadent seventies and glamorous go-go eighties, to her humiliating failures both professional and personal, and her remarkable comeback in the nineties. Like Coco Chanel, Diane has always been her own best advertisement. Morphing from a frizzy brunette outsider in a sea of sleek blondes to a stunning pop cultural icon, she embodied the brand she created the DVF woman, a model of self-sufficiency, sensuality, and confidence.
Diliberto s captivating, balanced portrait, based on scores of interviews with Diane s family, friends, lovers, employees, and the designer herself, explores von Furstenberg s relationships with her husbands and lovers, and illuminates fashion s evolution from rare luxury to marketing monster and the development of a uniquely American style. Lively and insightful, the book also explores the larger world of the nation s elite, where fashion, culture, society, politics, and Hollywood collide. Diane von Furstenberg is a modern fable of self-invention, fame, wealth, failure, and success that mirrors late-twentieth century America itself."