31 March 2011

a Princess, circa 1972


when you've got it-
rarely do you lose it.
take Diane von Furstenberg. don't you already know her? she was a Princess, married her prince in 1969 wearing her own design- made for her by Dior- no less.
she was an overnight hit-just for her beauty &  her smarts in marrying well.
what more could a  girl want?-

"I was 22 years old and had just gotten married to Prince Egon Von Furstenberg...I arrived in October, so it was New York at its best—that beautiful, blue crisp. Coming from Europe, I had expected the city would look modern, and actually, it didn’t.
I was a young princess, so I lived on Park Avenue and had some small children and blah blah blah. 

But we were a young couple, and fairly good looking with a nice title, so we were invited everywhere. We would see Andy Warhol, Halston, Diana Vreeland, Giorgio Sant’Angelo, and, of course, lots of Europeans." 

 DVF from NYM

it could have been the same old story-that could have been it-
But for DVF-
it was just the beginning.

"When Diane and Egon came here, they received an enormous amount of publicity; they were the 'it' couple - she was gorgeous, and they had titles- Paul Wilmot

& today- on it goes.
Now-an established since 2010- yearly DV Award, honoring inspiring women.
Now, 2011,  a home collection line. Expect- animal prints, geometrics, florals, butterflies & of course Success!
& of course there are bumps in the fairy tale-

but how did it all start?
The couple moved to New York & was ensconced in a Park Avenue apartment by the end of 1969. Prior to her move, Diane had apprenticed for Angelo Ferretti and found a genuine love for textiles and fashion. Once in New York -she decided to start designing simple dresses out of her apartment dining room-that was 1970.  By April of 1970 with encouragement from Bill Blass, Kenny Lane & Diana Vreeland , she had shown her first collection at the Gotham Hotel.

"Everybody expected her to do nothing, and then came the wrap dress and sold tons, so the wrap dress became the uniform of a certain type of woman in the early 70's: the spike heels, the wrap dress and the mink" Paul Wilmot

When these photographs of the von Furstenberg's smashing apartment were taken by Horst and published in Vogue 1972-her business was moving along; her marriage wasn't. Diane had it then- as far as interiors went-and she still does. Many subsequent photographs over the last three decades would reveal her taste  and design aesthetic- these by Horst in early 1972 are likely the first- and as I said-when you've got it-you always have it.

The photographs are beautiful & from all appearances- it was perfect.  At that point for Diane-it could not have been all what it seems from these images. Horst photographed the couple in their new up to the minute designed apartment- all Italian staffed & decorated with the assistance of interior designer Pierre Scapula.

All glamour aside, DVF's love for pattern and color can easily be seen in this Horst portrait. The  exotic mix of French Indiennes fabrics along with  pillows in a patchwork of the same fabric appear alongside her bold floral patterned dress.

the Princess posing for HORST in an alcove tented sitting area off the main living room

the Living Room

Resplendent  Luxury
red vinyl walls are lacquered and filled with collected paintings
dark caramel velvet banquettes for seating
tortoise finished Parsons tables with pieces of silver, tortoise scattered about

Modern artists like Albers, Ernest Trova hang over a bold flamestitch covered sofa
Latour like lilacs stand by a French ormolu writing desk
Faberge designed bibelots dot a skirted table

the master bedroom
navy blue straw cloth walls, vicuna on the bed, hide covered director's chair
a Richard Anuszkiewicz   op art painting hangs over the bed

a mirrored alcove in the bedroom, Marilyn silk screen & a white leather "bag" chair 

 son Alexandre's room
a graphic apple wallpaper, brass bed, & a Richard Hird portrait of the couple

just recently Diane was interviewed in the Financial Times  & talked about her personal style:

"I wanted to be a certain kind of a woman. 
I became that kind of a woman." DVF
as I began-
when you've got it- You've got it.

(By 1975 the Princess was separated, it would be 1983 before the couple was divorced.)

all photographs of interiors from Vogue  January 15 1972 by HORST
DVF here
2THEWALLS on DVF's office c 1983 here



  1. Fab! I love the new Picture too.

  2. You are right that the von Furstenbergs were the "it" couple of the early 70s and that wrap dress has a place in fashion history. I cannot comment on her choice of men as that analysis could fill a whole book, but that apartment was certainly trend-setting in its day and holds up reasonably well forty years later.

  3. Thank-you so much for this post! I remember my mother wearing DVF wrap dresses in the late 70's which was really exotic for us down under in Australia. Love the interiors, which to a point remind me a bit of Helena Rubinstein's apartment.

  4. I had two wrap dresses!! Loved them. DVF = amazing woman.

  5. I think that the wrap skirt was a brilliant (and flattering) design, and I wonder why it's still not in style - it was a classic.

    But I also have to say that I wouldn't want to relax in any one of those rooms!

  6. Yes, she sure does have it! I am a huge fan...another wonderful post. Love the tortoise and tented fabric... anywhere, anytime! ; )

  7. Hi Gaye , my word you have been busy whilst I was away . Just been catching up with your wonderful melange. Im very fond of N St P and the YSL was lovely to see again and peek at your recommmendations ( love your straight forward comments !) hope to start again demain with my new and enlaged photo album ! apparently that was causing the problem ? so heres hopeing have a good weekend
    fay xx

  8. ps I thought of you in Paris , I came across a street cafe with lilac tables! certainly unique but as my camera had just broken !! i couldnt record it F

  9. I could just live happily ever after in that room.

    Devoted- Do you know more about the designer Pierre Scapula? and thank god I haven't been judged on my men choices! pgt

    She was an innovator. Fay glad to know I am conjured up in lavenders. I am hearing this more often now since those LAV posts-glad to be. Gaye

  10. She is my inspiration :)

  11. I'm in love with your blog!
    I'm already following.
    Check mine and if you like it follow me too: http://simplicityischic.blogspot.com/

    Kisses, Em**



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