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Diane von Furstenberg · Woman Before Fashion

Diane von Furstenberg


Tue > Sun
10h > 17h


Place: Fashion & Lace Museum

Woman Before Fashion is not a retrospective. It is a free approach to the Diane von Furstenberg’s work. The exhibition presents the creations of the famous Belgo-American fashion designer and the person behind them. Comprising a selection of over 50 models and a wide-ranging iconography, the experience begins with fashion and ends with the woman. Through an interplay of visions and a juxtaposition of creations, this ground-breaking exhibition provides the keys to understanding the incredible career of a female designer who understands women.

‘Colours are the letters, prints are the words, and the fabric and the silhouettes form the sentence’

Along with personal photographs, visitors will perceive the diversity and timelessness of her prints. The designer has a specific language of colours and prints, one that she also applies to her must-have wrap dress. Visitors will discover Diane von Furstenberg’s many sources of inspiration, such as :
– freedom, which motivates her in her work but also in her daily life
– the role played by art in her creations with the work of friends like Andy Warhol, Konstantin Kakanias and François-Marie Banier or more broadly abstract painting, art and architecture.

The exhibition also looks at Diane von Furstenberg’s phenomenal and unique career. As soon as she arrived in New York, she noticed the variety of the outfits worn by women there. These “crazy looks” fuelled her desire to introduce “the little dress” in America. The wrap dress quickly became a worldwide lifestyle.

The exhibition sheds light on:
– her strategy of personifying the garment in department stores in line with mindsets of the 1970s
– the development and diversification of her lines
– her approach to women and to clients. Diane von Furstenberg meets and listens to women wearing her creations all over the United States. This enables her to develop a true and lasting link. From Amy Winehouse to Michelle Obama, women everywhere love her wrap dress
– Finally, the exhibition looks at her philanthropy, allowing visitors to better understand her work and her commitment to women.

The wrap dress

The printed jersey wrap dress is an emblematic garment of undisputed international renown.

Its celebrity has made the wrap dress an archetypal form of fashion, in the same way as age-old garments, kimonos or uniforms. Indeed, they all share a number of characteristics. This dress has lasted for 50 uninterrupted years, all the while taking account of the trends that have marked the various decades.

Conceived by a woman, the wrap dress is part of a worldwide history of fashion designed by women. Unlike their male counterparts, they favour simple, relaxed styles, designed to suit their body language and their daily lives.

The exhibition revisits the Italian origins of the wrap dress and the story behind its structure: the combination of a top and a skirt.

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