Valentino Garavani and Oscar de La Renta — fashion stalwarts sporting matching khaki summer suits and tans — hugged each other as they took front row seats at Diane von Furstenberg’s Spring 2012 show.
The mood, not surprisingly, was one of respect and support, with fashion’s elders seated near one another as they waited for the grand dame to show a collection of 49 looks, ranging from white full-skirted wrap dresses and midcentury beaded sheaths to African-inspired floral prints in teal and powder blue.
“I was crying this morning,” de la Renta told reporters and friends. “But Diane is a symbol of rebirth, of the New York woman.”
Indeed, the collection aptly named “Beginnings,” seemed appropriate for the tenth anniversary of Sept. 11. Von Furstenberg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and an adamant proponent of American fashion, carried her patriotic fervor down the catwalk with her, passing out dozens of American flags to editor-friends like Newsweek’s Tina Brown and Vogue’s Anna Wintour. While she and her circle still carry traces of British and bi-continental accents, the fashion today was proudly American.
Garavani stuck around after von Furstenberg’s final walk to praise the show. “I loved [the collection]. It was very easy, colorful, soft material. It was fun, and the woman of summer would love to wear it.”
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