There is a fantastic festival in my neighborhood in Chicago the second weekend of June each year. The Printers Row Lit Fest was founded in 1985 by the Near South Planning Board to attract visitors to the Printers Row neighborhood (once the city’s bookmaking hub). By 2002, it had grown to five city blocks (on Dearborn, from Congress to Polk), attracting more than 200 booksellers from across the country displaying new, used and antiquarian books and featuring more than 200 authors participating in panels, discussions and a variety of other programs. (source: http://printersrowlitfest.org/general-info.html)
I love to go and listen to a few panels of authors each year and this morning I went to a fantastic panel called Glamour Girls. All of the featured authors had written about the lives of glamorous women, including Gioia Diliberto author of “Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped“. Over the past couple years I have become a big DVF fan, not because I knew so much about her or her life, but because I somehow started watching “House of DVF” on the E! Entertainment Channel. This reality show features a group of young women competing to become the next brand ambassador for the DVF brand and because my career has been in the marketing and branding industry, I was fascinated. First with the concept, then with DVF herself.
My DVR was set to make sure I never missed an episode. It was a guilty indulgence, but I justified it by telling myself I was learning more about branding – which I was. Diane is super clear on her brand and what it stands for and what type of person it takes to represent her. And week after week there was just more and more to learn and more of the glamorous life of Diane to indulge in! I couldn’t get enough of her style. Her accent. Her lifestyle. Her confidence. Her business savvy. Her gorgeous store and office (which I visited last time I was in NYC).
And every time I find myself browsing in Nordstrom’s, I look longingly at the rack of iconic DVF wrap dresses… such perfect jersey materiaI. Such a flattering sillouette. I have always wanted to buy one and after hearing a bit of the history of that dress this morning, my desire increased ten-fold. You see she designed it to be easy to get in and out of… like easy for a man to slip off and easy for you to put on the next morning. Genius! She has stated that her divorce inspired the design, and also suggested it was created in the spirit of enabling women to enjoy sexual freedom. And according to Gioia Diliberto, Diane had many, many lovers. Gioia interviewed many of them when writing the book. What a fun book to research and write!
So, this week I will download and read Gioia Diliberto’s “Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped” and I may just go out and buy that coveted wrap dress as well! Every time I wear it, I will think of DVF leading the way for all of us to our embrace sexuality. And cheers to divorce for inspiring creativity!!