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July 23 2014

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DvF: Fashion’s Fairy Princess

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Camilla Morton’s new book Diane von Furstenberg and the Tale of the Empress’ New Clothes landed on our desk today, a holiday gift from von Furstenberg herself. And what a tale it is! Morton is well practiced at translating fashionable lives into fairy tales—she’s already done it with Manolo Blahnik and the Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker and Christian Lacroix and the Tale of Sleeping Beauty—but von Furstenberg’s fairy story needs less fictionalizing than most. Consider the evidence:

The heroine’s royal pedigree: von Furstenberg is actually a princess, thanks to her previous marriage, to Prince Egon of Furstenberg.

The heroine’s trial and triumph: She did, as a young woman, consider and then reject a rival suitor: Fidel Castro. (“I didn’t,” she insisted at a talk this fall at the 92nd Street Y, “have an affair with him. I had this incredible idealistic image of him. And he was quite good looking. But after two days I must say I was very disappointed.”)

The happy ending: von Furstenberg has earned not only the keys to the kingdom—at least the kingdoms of New York and fashion, as the president of the CFDA and a friend of Mayor Michael Bloomberg—but also the crown jewels: She revealed at the 92nd Street Y talk that husband Barry Diller proposed with 26 diamond wedding bands—one for each year they weren’t married.

She also exhibits fairy-princess generosity: “Whenever a friend of mine is sad, I give her one,” she said.

Photo: Jenny Kawa/BFAnyc.com

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Dept. of Culture