In the 1970’s women for the first time became liberated; abandoning the typical domesticated housewife ideal and going into the workplace. The time called for a new empowering fashion statement for women that went past pantsuits. Diane Von Furstenberg and her little wrap dress provided this needed fashion adjustment in the workplace.
In 1969 Diane Von Furstenberg married a prince Egon Von Furstenberg. Leading up into the 1970‘s Furstenberg would become an iconic fashion designer that would provide the liberation women desired. Diane Von Furstenberg first entered the fashion world in the early 1970’s with her iconic wrap dress. Originally created from a dolman sleeve top converted into a dress, the wrap dress was inspired by the silhouette of Japanese kimonos (Talley 7). In January 1970 Diane von Furstenberg had a suitcase full of jersey wrap dresses that she took to the editor of Vogue Diana Vreeand. Furstenberg created something new and different that became a symbol of empowerment and the uniform of the 1970’s to American women (Talley 10). In 1976 Diane was featured on the cover of Newsweek proclaiming her marketable qualities and had sold over a million dresses (Francke 42). Diane’s innovative wrap dress and abstract prints grew larger in popularity. With a dress that had no zippers or buttons women could easily wear it to work and then dress it up with jewelry for the evening.
Her earlier designs may not be revolutionary but the combination of a good fit for all types of body shapes and luxurious fabric created a cultural phenomenon. Building from the popularity of her wrap dress Diane Von Furstenberg created a brand for herself with a product line of perfumes, bath products, sunglasses, accessories, etc (DVF.com). By the end of the 1970‘s overexposure had sunk into the brand of Diane Von Furstenberg and up until the late 1990’s Diane Von Furstenberg put designing on the back burner to raise her family and travel.
In 1997 Diane Von Furstenberg saw a new generation of the classic wrap dress coming up in vintage boutiques and was able to reinvent her classic wrap dress into modern day collections. In 2005 Diane received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for her impact on fashion, and one year later was elected the CFDA’s president, an office she continues to hold (DVF.com).
When creating a collection inspired by Diane Von Fustenberg it must be elegant, bold, sophisticated and have elements of the classic wrap dress. Diane Von Furstenberg traveled to Greece in 2010 where she has two store locations and visited museums such as the Benaki and Acroplis museum (DVF.com). Something as elegant and classic as Greece translates to the classic silhouette Furstenberg created back in the 1970s. The architecture such as the Pantheon is clean and structured to perfection. The sculpture such as The Nike shows fluid and flowing draping on the stone that is the epitome of femininity. The landscapes in Greece are blue and gold with oceans and classic stone buildings that would translate into a magnificent collection. Diane Von Furstenberg is no doubt an icon for her innovative thinking and simplistic yet functional designs that gave women a new uniform and confidence in the workplace. When creating a collection inspired by her and Greece the collection will be elegant, bold, feminine, and classic just as her wrap dresses of the 1970’s were to every woman that wore them. The collection inspired by Diane Von Furstenberg and Greece will be a graceful dress collection that will embody the iconic wrap dress Furstenberg created in the 1970s.
Diane Von Furstenberg Official Website. Web. 13 Nov. 2011. <http://www.dvf.com>.
Talley, Andre. Diane Von Furstenberg- The Wrap. New York, NY: Assouline Publishing, 2004. Print.
Francke, Linda. Diane: A signature life. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1998. Print.
Viktor Horsting and Rolf Shoeren were both born and raised in the Netherlands and graduated from Arnham Academy of Art and in design in 1992. They received a prestigious young designers award and began working together as a team. In 1998 they launched their first couture collection in Paris called “Atomic Bomb” and with their imaginative qualities and showmanship they immediately began attracting press and creating a house hold name. By mixing drama, grandly staged Opera with the Paris haute couture precision, Viktor and Rolf have become both famous and unpredictable duo. Their 5 proceeding couture collections proved to be both avant-garde and wearable, leading to them entering the Ready-to-wear market in 2000.
Viktor and Rolf have described an ongoing inspiration from designers Elsa Schiaparelli, and Balenciaga, melding fashion, fantasy, and art together to push their own creative direction to the limits. Their theatrics and fantastical techniques can be best observed in their “Bed Time story” collection in 2005 where they dressed the models from head to toe in bedsheets and duvue pillows. By creating a capsule collection for H&M in 2006, and creating their hit perfume “Flower Bomb” Viktor and Rolf began gaining popularity on a mainstream market. In 2008 they sold part of their company shares to Diesel owner Renzo Rosso who plans to open 5 more boutiques and promote the V&R brand name. In 2008 they also launched “The house of Viktor and Rolf” a 15 year retrospective art gallery collection of porcelain dolls displayed in the London Barbican art gallery. Their art gallery show raised questions of whether seasonally changing fashion belongs in a static art gallery setting. The life size porcelain dolls featuring collections like “Russian Dolls”, “Bed Time Story” and “L’Apparaence du Vide” gives an eerie feeling of time’s past. It shows that V&R accept that these pieces are long seized fashion tightly tucked away to preserve memories of avant-garde extravaganzas.
Some of Viktor and Rolf’s current collections include their Spring R-T_W avant-garde tulle collection from 2010. V&R took a completely new conceptual direction where instead of playing it safe, cut holes in blatant areas in tulle gowns. They provided the audience a conceptual execution, mixing masculine tuxedo tops with conceptually formed feminine pastel plisse’, decorating the bodice like a flower.
Their most current collections fit well in the R-T-W markets. For pre-fall 2012 V&R launched a dark and moody collection. Dolls have been a reoccurring theme for V&R, this time porcelain Victorian variety inspired the collection. The words of Sigmund Freud describing the sexual life of an adult woman as a “dark continent” resonate with V&R as well. V&R wanted to seek a secretive quality that they describe as “A Victorian women, discreet, moody, rich, and luxurious”. They felt that the studied, dressy oddness would appeal to their target customer. The collection includes stretched, puffed, shrunk, draped, fringed, and ruffled silhouettes in a dark -color scheme.
Viktor and Rolf’s Spring R-T-W 2012 collection featured a pastel doll theme. V&R decided to go in a different direction from their previous red face pant of last season; amping up the feminine qualities with synthetic pink lashes and models who were made to look like walking dolls. They used girlish silhouettes, oversized prints, blown up proportions of stitching, and naïve quality of lacing.
Viktor and Rolf design for an upscale, luxurious, designer market. I imagine their target customer would be a high-class woman, in her 20s-30s, who seeks to dress both in current high fashion trends, while mixing in surrealist elements. She would have a taste for art, and showcasing herself in unique clothing. Although Viktor and Rolf will have competitors like their inspiration Balenciaga, or other designer brands like Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Pucci, or Vivienne Westwood, V&R have a competitive edge over the rest with their fearless artistic take on pushing the limits in fashion and conceptual fantasy as well as appealing to a younger target market.
Viktor and Rolf’s designs can be purchased from retailers like Iris, Barney’s in New York, and Bloomingdales. V&R price points for R-T-W items in stores range from $500-$1500 a piece. The price points for the basic R-T-W items reflect the target customers that V&R seeks to serve: a luxurious, fashion conscientious, avant-garde oriented powerful and successful woman.
I feel that with the direction of Viktor and Rolf’s latest Spring 2012 collection, which was girly and tame compared to some of their more avant-garde collections in the past, that they can still play up the feminine feel while incorporating the theatrics of their past collections. In my collection as an extension of Viktor and Rolf I have chosen to focus on candy and sweets, which although is different than their typical “doll” inspiration, will tye into the type of mood they have evoked in their feminine collections. My take on Viktor and Rolf will combine some of their classic silhouettes and pastel colors from Spring 2012, with their avant-garde tulle elements of Spring 2010. Keeping in mind the current trends described by WGSN, I feel that I can create something that will enhance their strong fantastical brand, with a unique theme that they haven’t focused on in the past. Below you’ll see V&R designs and then my moodboard and design sketches
Trend Forecasting for Spring/Summer: Splashes of Neon—
Trend Forecasting for Spring/Summer: Fun in the sun with TyeDye—
Trend Forecasting for Spring/Summer: Light and airy lace—
Trend Forecasting for Spring/Summer: Pastel colored hair—
Trend Forecasting for Spring/Summer: Colored denim—