Saturday, January 18, 2014

DVF 40: Journey of a Dress

“April 9, 1970


I think your clothes are absolutely smashing.

- Diane Vreeland, Editor In Chief, Vogue”

I think it was maybe a little over a month ago that I first got wind of this incredible exhibit at LACMA in the historic Wilshire May Company Building.  It was one of those things where you just do a double take.  Be still my heart, an entire exhibit celebrating forty years of the one and only, almighty iconic Wrap Dress by Diane von Furstenberg. 

In case you hadn’t noticed, my Working Girl logo is wearing a wrap dress, inspired by this very dress.  I picked a wrap dress for her because it is my most favorite go to work outfit choice.  I will elaborate why shortly, but as you can guess, this exhibit is of monumental excitement for me.  Major *SWOON*

My personal love affair with the DVF wrap started in 2001.  Long after having been established in the fashion industry, it was during my binge surfing when Bluefly had first launched that I took real notice of the DVF wrap dress.  I would spend hours looking at all the beautiful designer shoes daydreaming of owning them one day.  And of course, to complete my power work look, I’d fixate on the gorgeous Johnny collar wrap dresses by this Diane von Furstenberg lady.  Being a designer novice still, but a quick study thanks to Sex in the City, I quickly became more and more enamored by these wonderful creations. 

I was earning a little over $40,000 a year back then and paying $100 for a dress plus shipping, even on sale, was still beyond my means.  I kept trying so hard to pay off enough of my credit card to be able to charge it.  It took me about five months and then finally, I did the financially irresponsible thing and maxed out my credit card to buy my first Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress, complete with Johnny collar and three quarter sleeve in the geometric printed jersey fabric.

Ten days never felt so long to wait for mail.  But when it finally arrived, it was worth every agonizing suspenseful moment since my shaky, sweaty hand clicked on “Place Order”.  The dress fit oh, so perfectly.  And by that I mean, it made my curves go from “has some problem areas, must work out more” to “va va voom”.  It made my figure sexy but was completely professional at the same time.  I could be taken seriously in my work meetings but also be stylish and womanly at the same time.  I’d never worn anything like it.  And I never wanted to wear anything else.

Holly Brubach wrote the story of the journey of this dress displayed in the Exhibition room.  And because in no way can I express the most important significance of this dress more eloquently, I will just simply quote her verbatim.  “For the women of the land had gone to work.  Heigh-ho! It was the 70’s, and en masse they left their sculleries and their hearths for careers in finance, law and other fields that had been the province of men.  Wearing a wrap dress by the princess – an entrepreneur herself – the women went on job interviews, they went straight from the office out to dinner; they went around the world, washing the dress at night in their hotel room’s bathroom sink.  Requiring no help with a zipper in back or hard-to-reach hooks and eyes, the wrap dress epitomized not only the spirit of women’s liberation but of sexual liberation, too: in two minutes flat, a woman could be dressed and out the door; in even less time, she could be undressed.”

Yes, this is where Beyonce’s ‘Run The World (Girls)’ should start playing in your head.

I’m sharing my photos (using my Canon 6D) of the exhibit that consists of the main entrance lobby, a hallway with a history in photographs, advertisements and movie still frames of the wrap dress, various photographs and artwork of Diane von Furstenberg taken by Annie Lebowitz among others and the amazing Andy Warhol paintings in the Art Salon, the main Exhibition with the collection of 40 years of wrap dressed mannequins, and finally the shop where you can purchase some DVF items (no dresses), and print out your Instagram shots with the hashtag #JourneyOfADress.  You can also see the photos from opening night on the PhotoBooth wall and upload your Wrap Story on ipads.  You may not be able to make it out to see the exhibit before it closes on April 1st, but you can still share your wrap story at  I would love if you shared your story here too in the comments. :)
Sexy Bitch DVF
All the pretty dress...
Jersey! And sequins! And leopard! Oh my! and fly!
My first DVF is here on display!
A sequin sheer back
Sexy, strategic sheer cut outs on a halter wrap
Vogue Dress sewing pattern
Above: Amy Adams in American Hustler, Below: Iman on the runway
Lady Madonna
Zooey Deschanel
Amy Winehouse
FLOTUS with the family
Lady Obama

Janice Dickinson - yeah, i know...
DVF, left, DVF mannequin, right
Jerry Hall
Cheryl Tiegs, Vogue
#JourneyOfADress Instagram
 Printer & Photobooth wall
My Instagram Prints
Store Merch

The exhibit is so incredibly amazing.  It is inspiring.  It is moving.  It is empowering.  It is liberating.  It is a perfect celebration of a landmark contribution to fashion.  Thank you Ms. von Furstenberg.



Life's a shoe said...

DVF and the wrap so classic! I love it!

The Working Girl's Shoe Closet said...

@Life's a shoe - how could you not? Works on everyone! *hearts*

Unknown said...

Wrap dresses are so feminine and flattering. Great post - very in-depth, really informative.

The Working Girl's Shoe Closet said...

@Ann Mailsi Agreed! Its their fabulosity! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog! :) *hearts*

Anonymous said...

Your blog is such a great discovery for me..I adore Diane...she celebrates femininity and style like no one else..Great post!

Unknown said...

I love your dress!

The Working Girl's Shoe Closet said...

Thanks @Adele!

Anonymous said...

Love Diane Von Furstenberg! I was thrifting today and came across a DVF wrap dress for like $10 and grabbed it to try on. I was *heartbroken* that it just didn't fit right -- too snug -- sigh. :)

Jen @ Librarian for Life & Style

The Working Girl's Shoe Closet said...

@Librarianforstyle - Thanks for stopping by! I'm so sorry to hear that! Its so disappointing to be so close! But what great luck you have finding wonderful pieces! I'm sure you're going to find one that's even better!

babys2fine said...

God, what an icon she is! I'm so glad you got to see this, wish I was there too. :-)

Unknown said...

Her wrap dresses are clearly a classic! I think I must check out this exhibit sometime soon :) And I'm so jealous of your 6D! I'm currently saving up for one!


Anonymous said...

yes, what a flattering dress! xxo

The Working Girl's Shoe Closet said...

@Milli - You should! It's really a great inspiration! And I suggest you wait for the Black Friday sale at Sammy's camera! Its always NO tax and still the lowest price I've seen for my camera and lens package to date! I got it two years ago now. *hearts*

The Working Girl's Shoe Closet said... - Thanks for stopping by! I love your blog! And yes, its a real life saver!

allmylivesnow said...

I have an original DVF black wrap dress. Classic and chic.
Barbara @

Unknown said...

How exciting! That exhibit looks so wonderful! I love to see the history! Loved to hear about your story too! So wonderful!


awhite said...

Ahh, the iconic DVF wrap dress! Love it! Great post, doll1


Unknown said...

One day one of these will be in my closet, I swear it! Great post xo

Anonymous said...

SUCH an amazing exhibit! Cannot wait to get my hands on a DVF wrap dress one day-- until then I will admire from afar :)
xx, Emily
shell chic'd

Anonymous said...

Looks like an amazing exhibit. Wish I was in the area. Oh, and sweet catch on Amy Adams dress in American Hustle. You certainly have an eye for DVF!

xx's and shoes, Jill

The Shoe Dish

Jen27 said...

What a cool exhibit! Have always loved DVF wrap dresses. Bought my first one as a birthday gift to myself this year- it's fab! Fun post :)