Diane von Furstenberg's 40th anniversary festivities began in Los Angeles last month with the opening of Journey of a Dress, a retrospective of the frock that made her fortune. They continued today at Spring Studios, a new venue for DVF, where St. Vincent serenaded the crowd with a live performance and gold glitter fell from the ceiling as von Furstenberg completed her victory lap around the runway. There was a cake and candles, and a special dinner followed tonight.
Von Furstenberg titled her collection Bohemian Wrapsody, and true to the pun, it was well stocked with that signature dress. Karen Elson opened the show wearing a black-and-gold collared version that featured the same darts as the original. Doing research for the exhibition, von Furstenberg explained, she came across a 40-year-old quote from the New York Times' Bill Cunningham in which he complimented her patternmaking; the gist of it was, "she knows how to do darts."
Prints are an equal part of DVF's oeuvre, and there was no shortage of them here. Love knots, rosebuds, stars, moons, and clouds—oftentimes in bold mix-and-match combinations. The smart thing about the show was that it didn't feel like a nostalgia trip. Backstage von Furstenberg said, "I used to take the wrap dress for granted, and sometimes I even resented it. Now that I decided to honor it, I'm proud of it, of its timelessness." But it would be a mistake to expect this force of nature to do wraps and nothing else. The most vital look in the show was a sweater-dress in an abstract cloud motif worn with a flared skirt, over the top of which von Furstenberg tossed a printed cocoon coat. Not a dart in sight.