Fashion’s Most Powerful Women: Victoria Beckham & Diane von Furstenberg Show at New York Fashion Week
Sunday was a day of powerful women, with two of the strongest female designers, Victoria Beckham and Diane von Furstenberg, presenting their Fall/Winter 2014 collections. They are seemingly polar opposites: von Furstenberg is recognized for her playful, ‘love is life’ persona, while Beckham is seen as stoic and private; von Furstenberg rocks feminine, brightly colored ensembles, and Beckham is known for her mostly-black, conservative wardrobe. Yet, despite differences in their aesthetics, both women have defined themselves as powerhouses within the fashion industry, each praised for a unique design sensibility. And they are both currently celebrating milestones in their careers.
At Victoria Beckham’s show Sunday morning, the designer’s entire family sat front row, beaming with pride at their mother/wife’s latest collection (even snapping selfies). It was clear that Beckham, who’s namesake line turns five this year, was turning to her roots for inspiration for the nearly all black and white collection. “Everything is not what it seems,” Beckham said of her collection, which featured long coats and skirts, modern cuts, and an emphasis on pleating. “It’s all 360 degrees—nothing is flat. You look at a structured coat from the front, and then from the back you see this beautiful pleat. Or you're looking at a dress, and then the whole back is missing.” It's these subtle touches that updated—and loosened—Beckham's typically conservative aesthetic. “This is a real revolution for me,” Beckham said.
Later that afternoon, Diane von Furstenberg also celebrated a major milestone in her career: 40 years of her iconic wrap dress (disclosure: von Furstenberg is married to Barry Diller, who is Chairman and Senior Executive of IAC, the parent company of The Daily Beast). To honor the occasion, DVF presented a collection—or rather, a party—that was dubbed “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Marching to live music played by the band St. Vincent, models showed off their smiles in a series of wrap dresses, soft sweaters, and printed skirts that were, naturally, classic Diane. Supermodel Karen Elson opened the show in a gold, “love knot” wrap dress, which became one of the collection's themes. For the finale, models dressed in gold joined St. Vincent on stage, dancing as confetti fell from the ceiling. Despite the celebratory aura of the event, von Furstenberg continued to push the boundaries of her style conventions, showing pieces that were soft and ballerina-esque—particularly the sweaters tied above the models’ waists—inspired by the Ballets Russe. It was the perfect mix of past and present. It was a collection for the quintessential DVF woman.