Despite a soundtrack that included Dolly Parton singing "9 to 5" and Irene Cara belting out "What a Feeling," Diane von Furstenberg's fall show wasn't as much about the eighties as it was about strong female archetypes. Dubbed Working Girl, the collection alternated between sharp, little forties suits in houndstooth knitsthink sexy secretaryand bold patchwork serapes à la pioneering frontier woman.
There were also plenty of wrap dresses, the item that set von Furstenberg on her own fiercely independent path three decades ago. These were joined by shirtdresses in everything from a Navajo-striped chiffon to a leopard print to polka dots (the best came in a navy wool jersey). Pants, that modern woman's must-have basic, were paradoxically lacking. The few times they did show up, with a vest and a bow-front blouse, they were full in the leg and cuffed. Mink-trimmed booties weren't likely to introduce a note of practicality, but there's no denying they're sexy, as DVF's program notes urged us to be, "every day, all day "
After last season's accident at her studio, in which a rack of stage lights fell on the audience, von Furstenberg moved her act to the Bryant Park tents. Judging by the leisurely stroll she took around the U-shaped runway, she felt at home in her new surroundings. As she greeted celebrity friends like Susan Sarandon, Charlie Rose, Diane Sawyer, and Mike Nichols (who as it happens directed the show's namesake movie), it was apparent that this is one working girl who loves her job.