Outside of our family, there aren’t too many people in this world we love more than Diane von Furstenburg. In our eyes, the woman can do no wrong, and Full Frontal Fashion proved that last night on the Sundance Channel with its “The Day Before” special.
Cameras followed the designer princess for 48 hours last February, documenting the madness of the final moments before her Fall 2010 ready to wear presentation. We were surprised with a serene opening of Von Furstenberg doing some kind of yoga/pilates hybrid in her Meatpacking District apartment.
But there’s no rest for the fabulous — even during her workout she has to approve an outfit, a blue dress bedecked with a net of metal circles. Even upside down, she can tell she loves the look and sends it off for approval. The rest of the process, which pits DVF’s eternal feminism against trendy menswear inspired clothing, doesn’t go quite so smoothly. We kinda thought runway stylist Grace Cobb might be in danger of losing her job when she started arguing for the inclusion of a boyfriend blazer, but DVF dismisses the look as a “boring boyfriend.” The designer wants the clothes to be feminine above all, and a blazer will only make it into the show so long as it allows the model’s girly figure to shine through.
Once she directs studio director Nathan Jenden to cut mounds of fabric right off of Coco Rocha‘s body, she moves on to the seating chart — a production within itself — and immediately spots a problem.
Fortunately, as with the rest of the show, Diane gets her way. She is the company after all, and she balances the stress of running the show by spending time with her grandchildren, Princess Talita, Prince Tassilo and their cousin. We have to marvel at how luxe her life is — even when she’s working (in this case supervising the makeup plans for the show) she still has time to sit with the heirs to her throne and her business and chat. Tassilo compares the blue green eyeshadow to Avatar, and we totally gushed at that.
It becomes clearer and clearer that DVF really is a family woman. Even on her way to the show (whisked there in a Bentley bigger than our apartment) a reporter stops her. It’s Valentine’s Day and he asks about the three things she loves the most. “My children, my grandchildren and myself,” she says.
The quiet doesn’t last long — she and the young royals arrive at the Bryant Park tents, and she tells them she expects aout 1,000 people to show up. It looks like all of them are backstage, clamoring for her attention and begging her for advice or bits of tulle or her views on fashion. It’s amazing to us with all that craziness that she could manage to stay on brand, so to speak, but she more than managed. The essence of her collection is “to have a man’s life in a woman’s body,” and to be able to be everything at once.
When the producers call for first looks and the lights go down, Diane tells every single girl in the show to “be proud to be you,” helpful advice which didn’t prevent a few girls from stumbling on the slippery runway. Nevertheless, the show gets rave reviews for its liveliness.
“Imagine a garden in black and white,” Diane says. “How depressing a garden in black and white would be. That’s why we do color.”
And then, she gets driven off in that Bentley, to continue to be fabulous and create another season full of beauty.