To say that Diane Von Furstenberg is a seasoned traveler, is an understatement. The fashion icon’s jet set life has always revolved around “hitting the road” in style but if you think she’s one of those pampered fashionistas who can’t travel without 10 Louis Vuitton steamer trunks, think again. The woman who invented the packable, travel friendly, versatile, wrap dress, has long extolled the virtues of packing light (which is the way to go particularly these days, since nobody wants to check their baggage if they don’t have to).
The designing woman, (who is Mrs. Barry Diller and the CFDA President), has not only put her name on a line of travel inspired bags, La Petite Valise, but has lent her expertise to travel magazines, giving advise on how to pack and really edit down. In one article that ran in the October 2008 issue of Travel & Leisure, “Pack like a Pro: Diane Von Furstenberg”, she referred to herself as “the best packer in the world” and went into detail within the following 5 suggestions: “Go lightly”, “Include a splash of color”, “Carry a big handbag”, “Mix it up”, “Bring jersey”. (I especially liked the tip about packing couture: “Roll up ball gowns and put them in stockings. You can actually squeeze them down to the shape of a salami. They are perfect and unwrinkled when you unpack them.” Who knew?!)
She once observed that what you whittle yourself down to, (after rigorously editing your travel wardrobe), speaks volumes about ‘who’ you are. If you think about it, it’s so true, because we all have too much ‘stuff’, yet there are those core, indispensible, favorite items that we know we can’t live without, those things that need to be near us no matter where we go, whether it’s a favorite scarf, piece of jewelry, pair of shoes, or an item of clothing. And those are the pieces that really stand out when you have to chose and be selective.
The Cruise/Pre-Spring 2009/2010 line that DVF unveiled yes
terday at noon, during a formal showing at her shop on west 14th street (smack dab in the middle of the Meat Packing District), was dubbed “Her Name is Rio”. In her own words, it is all about “the freedom to travel lightly…to go through customs with nothing to declare but colors and optimism” and finding those ‘perfect-to-pack essentials’. Unsurprisingly, the collection was filled with travel- friendly, lightweight fabrics, many rendered in strong vibrant colors and bold patterns (though she chose to begin the show with a duo of chic black plisse dresses, one worn beneath a black silk crepe satin blazer).
Also unsurprising, (since the practical yet ultra feminine Mrs. Barry Diller has always been ‘all about’ the dress), is that out of the 35 pieces shown, 24 were dresses. There were wrap dresses, strapless dresses, tank dresses, tee dresses, dresses made of printed chiffon, dresses made of printed cotton, dresses made of printed georgette, dresses made of paper leather, dresses made of stretch denim, dresses made of dot sequins, and dresses made of colorful pailletes (and most of them were short and kicky). When it wasn’t a dress, it was a roll cuffed short short, a skinny jean type pant (both of which were sometimes shown beneath a boyfriend blazer), a full legged jumpsuit, or a knockout swimsuit (which made a statement when shown underneath an eye catching, printed coat). And of course, everything was accessorized with killer high heeled sandals. My suggestion? ‘Lose’ the heels when running through the airport to catch that plane!
– Marilyn Kirschner