1:07 p.m. - 2006-01-10
This weekend I read Diane: A Signature LIfe, the autobiography of Diane Von Furstenburg. I've been thinking about her lately for several reasons, the main two being a) seeing her on Project Runway, and hearing her amazing voice/accent, and b) with all the weddings / rehearsal dinners I'm going to this summer, I'm totally obsessed with obtaining a dress from her spring collection. See above.
Her life is super fascinating in that jet-setting high powered mogul kind of way, but in other ways as well. Did you know her mother was in the concentration camps in world war two? And that Diane herself had cancer in the early nineties? She developed such a personal regimen for getting herself through the chemotherapy (massages, daily little rituals, homeopathic medicine, singing a victory song she created for herself) that later doctors asked her what she did to withstand the treatments so well.
The accounts of her childhood throughout Europe, and her social/dating life were the most fascinating to me. I mean, she was friends/lovers with all these amazing people: Barry Diller, Jann Wenner, Andy Warhol. . . .
Her brand changed so much through out the years, growing, waning, coming back, branching out in differerent capacities. One thing I was sort of disappointed about in the book is that there was hardly any mention of her creative process, how the beautiful prints of her dresses are developed, how she designs the collections. I guess that's just my bias though, as I really love to delve deeply into others creative processes.
I have to say, one thing I'm always really challenged by when reading this kind of biography or learning about the history of a person is the fact that DVF came from such a perfect environment for fashion: she herself is a princess by marriage, she knew all these famous/powerful people, had that rich, well-connected background. . . it always makes me think, could a less connected person acheive what she has acheived? I mean, I think it's possible, definitely. . . Well, in any case, my issue with that is more of a personal resentment. Maybe next I should read the biography of a self-made man/woman.
It's been a long time since I wrote a book report, but this is starting to feel book report-y. In conclusion, read this book if you're interested at all in Diane VonFurstenburg. The writing's not spectacular, but the story is pretty interesting. Plus it only took me about three hours to read, so it's a satisfyingly light, nice weekend book.
But you don't have to take my word for it!!