The wrap dress is a very mod yet traditional fashion stamp. It wears like a kimono or a robe – crossed and closed over with a toga type tie and it is, quite possibly one of my most favorite dresses of all time. The world renowned designer Diane Von Furstenberg (wrap queen extraordinaire) created this penultimate preppy wardrobe essential in the 1970s – never knowing, perhaps that this trend would never, ever end, especially when Jackie O draped herself in one. That was the beginning of its success – and once again the former first lady introduced another first, and as (one of Steven Sondheim’s first musicals, also in the 1970’s) was famous for singing “another hundred dresses just walked off of the train….” That is from Company, the classic musical sensation, and the DVF wrap dress is in very good company. Warm in the winter (long sleeves) Cool in the warmer months (short, sleeveless or capped sleeves) and all around classic – all year round. And the reviews at the start were as winning as those on Broadway, and the sales, like its musical counterpart have never faltered. The tunes and the dresses had their own following at the very beginning.
Most people would guess that success as a fashion label requires designing a myriad of new looks every season. In truth, success can come from a single long-living look, and the wrap dress is proof positive. For example. Lacoste would be just another golf shirt without the cute gator resting comfortably on some part of the garment, Levi’s sans its 501 zips in the latest denim wash would be just tossed in the jean pool and Diane von Furstenberg, without the wrap dress du jour, or the look that is made and worn for just about every day, every occasion would be just another cool, accented European designer paving Madison Avenue to have a look-see.
The DVF is simple and, I just adore anything that wraps up nicely with a pretty bow. How completley feminine, right? The dresses are comfortable, powerful, modern and sexy. And the petite sizes are cut so specifically, it is quite rare that I ever try one on, ever. I choose a great pattern and go. And now, with commercial success, there are just so many new fabrics to choose from – my trips downtown to the Flagship last much longer than they use too. The fit model, and I are the very best of friends (at heart) – as alterations are not even an option. The dresses fall to my knees, after I have gotten up from falling to my knees praying to find another winner!. And the sleeves – fall right at the appropriate and understated wrist wear – all clear of any excess.
(I confess to occasionally having to buy an ‘on the spot’ dress for an event on the same day, and the fitting room never even sees the likes of me – the taxi driver, however, well, that’s another story – I can quick change really quick even though, all eyes are never really on the road. Oh well, perhaps they thought the dress as cute as I when they smiled at my jiffy exit – all dressed up with somewhere to go! And during Ramadan, ooh, that’s a no-no! What goes on or off in a taxi – stays in a taxi – hopefully.)
These DVF jersey knits and silk saris are easy to slip into and as comfortable to wear (as that beach coverup from a few months ago.) Then tied correctly at the waist, the illusion becomes a reality – just about everyone that gets wrapped looks pretty cute. And quite slim. It may be an illusion, but I can not remember seeing anyone that doesn’t look like she shed an inch or two at the perfectly executed cinched waist.
My favorite girls at DVF once told me to wear a leapord print backwards. You create a new look, a boatneck in front and a plunging v in the back. I tried it and just thought it looked like I was wearing it backwards, but then, I submitted to ‘off with the tags’ and honestly, a whole new drama unfolded. The tri mirrors in the fitting rooms that I pose in front of sealed that backwards deal, three times. I needed to up my game once and reveal back a little back cleavage attention getter. So flattering wow, that was a wrap.
Designers may want their collections to be fresh each season, but DVF has remains true to its mission statement for nearly 50 years. Simple, classic, and cute. Pretty much in line with what The Greene Door set out to achieve. And with the help of designers and statements that are classic, timeless and chic, I’d say that on any day that I am wrapped in a versatile, dressy or casual DVF, that is a job well accomplished behind these doors.
Photographs by Viva Violeta Photography