Shocked, At Bloomingdale’s!

I have always thought of Bloomingdale’s as my go-to department store – my store for my entire life. But today, I was truly shocked in Bloomindale’s. As I paid my bill I asked the young sales person if she could point me to the Diane von Furstenberg department (I was intrigued to see more after my last post). She looked at me as if I had three heads and asked me who that was – a designer? “Yes, a designer,” I said. She then suggested that the department might be found upstairs on the 3rd floor. I looked at her, seriously dumbfounded. And said, “No!” Still shell-shocked, I asked another salesperson where I could find DVF, and she told me that Bloomingdale’s hasn’t sold the Diane von Furstenberg line for at least two years. That came as a surprise to me but it wasn’t the shock. The real shock was that the first sales person didn’t know who Diane von Furstenberg was. Really? Are you kidding me?? Shame on you Bloomingdale’s for letting this happen!

I just had to share …

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Diane von Furstenberg in Her Third Act

Diane von Furstenberg at 70, in her office in the Meatpacking District, NYC (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

I always used to say that life has three moments,” she says, sitting in her downtown office on a recent afternoon. “One is development, until about (age) 30. One is enjoyment, and then the third, the last season of your life, is somehow about fulfillment.” ~ Diane von Furstenberg

Designer Diane von Furstenberg is refocusing her life. Having handed over the creative reins of her fashion label to Jonathan Saunders, one of fashion’s most iconic names is turning her energies to philanthropy.  When von Furstenberg turned 70 on New Year’s Eve, she had already been asking herself,  “What kind of senior citizen do I want to be? How do I stay relevant?” – for a year. What she decided, she says, was to use her voice to focus on women from the inside, rather than the outside. “All my life was about creating a product, fashion, something (women) could use to be the woman they want to be, and now in my third act I want to use my voice to help women be the woman they want to be, but from the inside.

When I read von Furstenbergs’ memoir, The Woman I Wanted to Be, I was touched by her mother’s story and the strength (and life!) that she received from her mother. Her mother was a concentration camp survivor. She survived two concentration camps, and even though she came home weighing only 59 pounds, she gave birth the following year to her daughter, Diane. Throughout her life, her mother would tell her that God saved her so that she could give her life. I think that is why Diane von Furstenberg wants to help women find their voices and their strength. I think it is what motivates her. I want to see how she inspires women going forward, in her third act …

 

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The Gingham Resurgence!

My Diane von Furstenberg gingham dress

You may have noticed that gingham is making a comeback this Spring. That fresh fabric that was all over J.Crew about a decade ago is now all over Instagram as it enjoys a 2017 resurgence. It is the singular color print and the close-knit checks that make gingham distinctive and full of charm. Not just the preppy standard it was years ago, gingham of today is styled in new and unexpected ways, including shoes and other accessories. Last year, I bought my own gingham dress (Diane von Furstenberg) and what I love is that this dress can be dressed up or down. I have worn it to work, for a family brunch, and plan to wear it to a summer evening party in a few weeks. Give yourself a fresh start to Spring with this ultimate playful fabric.

Dress, Diane von Furstenberg

Photo by Alexandra

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Leopard and Leaves

Optimized-P1050547Optimized-P1050549Leopard is always in season but I find myself pulling out my leopard pieces especially now, as temperatures cool and I need strong accents to highlight the black. If you haven’t purchased a leopard accessory in a while, try now. Start small – a pair of shoes, a belt, a blouse – these pack a big fashion punch.

Shoes, Diane von Furstenberg; pants, Loehmann’s

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The Gingham Resurgence!

Optimized-IMGP3487-2You may have noticed that gingham is making a comeback this Spring. That fresh fabric that was all over J.Crew about a decade ago is now all over Instagram as it enjoys a 2017 resurgence. It is the singular color print and the close-knit checks that make gingham distinctive and full of charm. Not just the preppy standard it was years ago, gingham of today is styled in new and unexpected ways, including shoes and other accessories. Last year, I bought my own gingham dress (Diane von Furstenberg) and what I love is that this dress can be dressed up or down. I have worn it to work, for a family brunch, and plan to wear it to a summer evening party in a few weeks. Give yourself a fresh start to Spring with this ultimate playful fabric.

Dress, Diane von Furstenberg

Photo by Alexandra

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Congratulations and XoX Betsey Johnson!

CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg with 2015's recipient of the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, Betsey Johnson (Credit: Getty)

CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg with 2015’s recipient of the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, Betsey Johnson (Credit: Getty)

Today I consider myself the luckiest girl on the face of the Earth,” Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Betsey Johnson

I smiled when I heard that designer Betsey Johnson was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) event Monday night. I love Betsey Johnson. I think the fashion world loves her too. She has been a fashion designer for 50 years debuting her signature label in 1978; creating feminine and whimsical yet edgy and modern clothes. I remember borrowing my mother’s Betsey Johnson red plaid corduroy blazer as a teenager (where is that now??) and I remember a few years later buying my own Betsey Johnson dress. It was a feminine, floral print with bold colors and puffed sleeves; I felt like I had made it – owning a Betsey Johnson dress was a true right of passage!

Betsey Johnson says she is a workaholic and she loves the work. But it’s much more than just her body of work. It’s her resilience, it’s the fact that she remains relevant after all this time. Betsey Johnson is a survivor – she has been tested and she keeps coming back … with a cartwheel and a split!

 

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Who’s to Say I Can’t Wear a Drop Earring!

Heather Duetsch Silver Drop Earrings

Heather Duetsch Silver Drop Earrings

The earring police? Too often we tell ourselves when it comes to accessories; if it’s too big, too bold, too different from our usual, and even too age-inappropriate, we shouldn’t try. In these moments we are forgetting the most important thing about fashion: it is all about self expression and sometimes that means stepping out of our comfort zone. Especially when we really love something. These purple drop earrings designed by talented artist Heather Duetsch caught my eye – and there is no reason why I should hesitate to wear them – especially if the price is right. Inspired by the dramatic jewelry worn by style icon  Diane von Furstenberg, I ditched my usual simple, button style earrings for something much more playful. Try it – step out and dangle a little!

 

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The Woman Diane von Furstenberg Wanted To Be

Diane von Furstenberg:

Diane von Furstenberg’s Memoir: The Woman I Wanted To Be

I love reading stories about strength and survival and compassion and romance. And I especially love reading about people’s lives and the things that really happen to them, because there is always that moment when you know that nothing fictional could come close to the reality of life. That is where the beauty is – that is where the surprise is. One may think of designer and philanthropist Diane von Furstenberg a certain way, but I guarantee that if you read her memoir, The Woman I Wanted To Be, you will be amazed to know the life she has led and that this woman is real.

Her words are honest and endearing and forthcoming …

On her mother, who survived the Nazi death camps at Auschwitz and Ravensbrück: “I feel it is my duty to make up for all the suffering she endured, to always celebrate freedom and live fully. My birth was her triumph. She was not supposed to survive; I was not supposed to be born. We proved them wrong. We both won the day I was born.

On taking time with yourself: “You cannot have a good relationship with anyone, unless you first have it with yourself … I was lucky to start a relationship with myself very early in life. I am not sure why; maybe because I had no sibling until the age of six and I was alone a lot, or maybe because I was taught from an early age to be responsible for myself and for my actions.”

On confronting cancer at the age of forty-seven: “I became more compassionate to the sufferings of others, appreciated the value of health, became more spiritual and understood both my fragility and my strength.”

On taking chances in life: “I’ve long believed that the ‘if’s’ were the doors to my future, and I dared to open them, one by one, as they came along. I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be but I didn’t know how I would become her. Opening those doors led me on a path to fashion, and that became the path to the woman I am today.”

On the nature of Nature: “Nature is never still. Things are growing, ripening, aging, fading, and then starting again. The trees are beautiful even when bare. I love every phase and I am endlessly fascinated by that life cycle moving on. Nature never stops.”

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Once More, With Leopard

Optimized-P1050549Optimized-P1050547Need an extra lift? A hint of the unexpected? A touch of leopard is always a good idea and my favorite accessory. Belts, bags, or shoes, leopard is so versatile that it can replace any and all neutrals. And this print never goes out of style. These DVF leopard heels were a consignment-shop steal at $50. Check your closets now for leopard!

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My Love Affair With My DVF Wrap Dress

My go-to DVF wrap dress

My go-to DVF wrap dress

One dress, one go-to, one fashion workhorse; that is my Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. It’s been a long love affair and one that has taken me through important times and moments of my life. It has celebrated weddings and parties, negotiated serious lunch meetings, and held up my heavy heart at funerals. There is no place we haven’t been together; we have lived a lot and lived well.

It is no surprise to me that the DVF wrap dress celebrated its 40th birthday last year. Who else but Diane von Furstenberg could design a dress so perfect for every woman? At once flirty and fun yet serious and simple, the wrap dress combines all the elements to make a woman her best self. Yes, this fashion staple has been with me for at least 20 years, looking as fresh and beautiful as it did the first time I wore it. No wonder I am in love!

Photo by Lauren Hagerstrom; shot on location at Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Summit NJ

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