Diane von Furstenberg is on a high. The brand couldn't be performing any better and rumours abound that an IPO might be on the cards and it's because of this success that makes the news its creative director's departure such a surprise. Yvan Mispelaere, who joined the brand in April 2010, confirmed that he is leaving the role just two days after show the brand's S/S13 collection
'I came to DVF to help further the brand's mission and create a world-class design team. I am confident we have been able to achieve that during my time with the company,' he said in a statement. 'I can't thank Diane enough for the opportunity to work with her and such talented people. The group is now well-positioned for even greater success, and I am eager to take on my next challenge.'
If there's one word that sums up Diane von Furstenberg's Resort offerings, it's easy, and not in a bad way. Von Furstenberg knows about the art of travelling, especially since she's just come back from a trip in China, and it shows. More than we've seen from her before, the pieces lent themselves to different scenarios, helping to take you from the beach to the bar and from day to evening.
As someone that always packs about 70% more clothes than I actually need, the collection has gone a long way in converting me to pack lightly. The simple but subtly draped bright skirts would work as well walking around the city during your holiday by day and could be instantly jazzed up by teaming it with the rectangular clutch bags that appeared throughout along with a grey jacket that was loose and relaxed but carefully draped around the body.
Multi-functionalism aside, the prints were also a strong point this season. They've always been a signature for the brand but more recently they've felt a lot more playful and experimental. In the collection they appeared in several different carnations and also in mixed and matched block coloured variations, which I'm sure the house’s creative director Yvan Mispelaere had a lot to do with.
The CFDA Awards took place a week ago but the non-profit organisation is still in the headlines. This morning Steven Kolb announced the 26 new members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America's board.
Joseph Altuzarra, Jean-Michel Cazabat and Yvan Mispelaere are three of the new additions along with Rachel Zoe. The move is a big one for Zoe. While she has long been recognised for her styling, the appointment signifies her position as a force to be recognised with her brand too.
Kolb also confirmed that Diane von Furstenberg's run as president, which she started back in 2009, has been extended for another two years. 'Diane has done an excellent job as CFDA president,' she said. 'The time and resources she gives and the vision she has created is a huge benefit for our organisation and industry.'
This season Diane Von Furstenberg and designer Yvan Mispelaere wanted to celebrate Americas legends, the show notes reveal, and particularly all things Wild West.
The reference was clear on wide brimmed black hats teamed with the brand's classic wrap dress in a black and white print teamed with over the knee suede boots or a simple dress in red. The inspiration was made even more apparent by the horse shoe shaped runway. A black jumpsuit with printed green lines teamed with a statement necklace and black fur jacket stood out, as did a beautiful black sequin gown.
Last season marked Nathan Jenden's last collection as Diane Von Furtsenberg's right hand man, as he took the plunge to focus on his eponymous line and it's widely agreed that he left the brand with a bang. That said, the question on everyone's mind yesterday was how the brand would fair now that Yvan Mispelaere has joined the team. The Frenchman's CV rings like a whose who in fashion having headed up the women's design studio at Gucci and worked directly under Phoebe Philo during her time at Chloe so already I was half sold.
Like many this season, the designer played with prints but unlike others it worked. The prints were bolder than we've seen in the past but were focused and appeared in different forms on different garments, making each piece unique. Colours appeared everywhere but wasn't garish - purple high wasted trousers were styled with a pink orange low cut hooded top and a shorts jumpsuit came in bright aqua with a complimentary brown print. Several looks could have been edited out such as a terracotta blazer styled with a simple brown top and an off-white over the knee skirt, which detracted from the more focused pieces of the collection.