Meeting Diane von Furstenberg

I’m on cloud nine! Tonight I met Diane von Furstenberg at the Bellevue Nordstrom store. She was on tour promoting her new fragrance. I was looking for a new scent, so I popped by to sniff (and purchase) DIANE (the parfum) and meet Diane (the legend).

You might not know that my interest in style has a lot to do with my Oma (grandma). She was always a polished, fashionable woman who had great wardrobe tips. I watched, I learned, and I was lucky enough to receive her original DVF two-piece wrap from the early 1970s. I believe this pattern debuted in the ’73-’74 season at the beginning of Diane’s career.

DVF

Two-piece wrap: Vintage DVF
Tights: Hue
Necklace: Macy’s
Bag: Thrifted
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik via thrifted

I wore the outfit to meet Diane von Furstenberg. She literally invented the wrap dress and I wanted to show my appreciation of a classic item by wearing it to the event. I thought she might recognize it and be pleased that something that she designed had been worn and loved for close to forty years.

I lined up behind the velvet ropes with a lot of other women and waited for my turn. Diane was sitting on a table near the escalators. We were escorted to her one at a time for an introduction and a hello. I wasn’t trying to make a statement about me by wearing the vintage dress, but I got Diane’s attention.

When it was my turn, I walked over to her and her eyes lit up. She said, “That’s an old dress. I made that one in the 70s.” Then she asked the professional photographers to take extra photos of us together. I told her how Oma (and Diane, through Oma’s impeccable taste) influenced my style.

Here’s where it gets even more awesome: Diane offered to purchase my dress from me! She said, “Will you sell it? I’ll buy that and give you a new one.” Wow! But I couldn’t. I thanked her and told her this particular dress has a history and means too much to me.

jean_diane

Here's what I found on Twitter when I got home: http://twitpic.com/72wkcj

She shrugged and signed my parfum bottle and her headshot and I was on my way. But not before she told me that somewhere there’s a photo of her wearing this same dress. I’m going to find it.

Diane was elegant, cordial, and genuine at the meeting. I was elated. I’m not the “fan” type (for anyone), but I was excited to meet her and nervous when I did.

That was supposed to be the end of the story, but it got weird on the way back to the car. Like a klutz, I was walking to the parking lot when I decided to change direction. In the process, I tripped over my foot and landed on the ground. Full asphalt contact: first knee, then hip, and finally shoulder. All the while I was holding up my shopping bag so I wouldn’t break my autographed bottle.

I also thought that if I ripped the dress it would be worthless and Diane wouldn’t want to buy it from me (not that I’m selling it). The funny thing is, Oma was always concerned when, as a child, I fell. She’d run over and say, “how’s your dress? Wounds heal, but you can’t replace that outfit.” I loved it! Shouldn’t it be the other way around? But Oma said it in a way that made me feel better (even though I know she wasn’t joking).

So there I was, lying on the cement in Oma’s dress. I quickly got up, embarrassed, but uninjured. Then I inspected myself. The outfit was fine. Somehow I’d managed not to ruin it. Maybe Oma was looking out for me. It might have been her way of saying, “Thanks for not selling my dress. In exchange, here’s a soft landing.”

DIANE parfum and gift bag

I spritzed a bit of DIANE in my car and laughed at the crazy evening I’d had. Fashion is certainly a wild ride sometimes.

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8 Comments

Filed under Fashion

8 responses to “Meeting Diane von Furstenberg

  1. carmen

    What a fabulous fashion story!!! I laughed: I cried!! I wish I had had the opportunity to wear this dress, too, then it would have been worn by three generations!!! I will look for a pic of Oma wearing it but not sure that one exists – I can picture her vividly in my mind wearing it.

    This dress has even more history now; you wore it to meet Diane, have a photo of the two of you (even on Twitter) and she offered to buy it! (I am glad you kept it.)

    How marvellous to meet a fashion icon, a very talented lady and business woman!!

  2. karena

    Awesome, Jean! What a fun night. Wish I was there.

  3. Wow, Jean! What a fantastic story! How exciting to meet Diane and have her fawn all over your legendary dress. One of those memorable evenings you’ll tell your grandkids about. So happy you got to rub elbows with the legend herself. 😉

  4. I finally gathered the courage to read this particular post, as a tribute to Oma. I had to see the pictures of the dress. When you and I talked about this when you got home, I thought, at the time, that Oma was with you and the fact that you tripped was her way of reaching out with a sign. I’m really happy for you to have had this moment. You deserve it, and you look beautiful in your picture with the legend herself!

  5. Thanks everyone for writing. And LD, thanks for reading. I know your experience was much differnet than mine but you let me enjoy my moment. I appreciate that.

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