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Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped
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Published:
Dey Street Books 2015
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Description

A sweeping biography of one of the most influential and controversial legends of late twentieth-century fashion, an iconic designer whose colorful creations, including the "wrap dress," captured the modern feminist spirit.

The daughter of a Holocaust survivor and wife of an Austrian nobleman, Diane von Furstenberg burst onto New York's fashion scene in 1969, and within a few years became an international sensation with her colorful wrap dress in printed jersey. Embraced by millions of American women of all ages, sizes, and shapes, the dress became a cult object and symbol of women's liberation, tied inexorably to the image of youth, independence, and sex Diane herself projected.

In this masterful biography, Gioia Diliberto brings Diane's extraordinary life into focus, from her post-World-War-II childhood in Belgium, through her rise to the top of the fashion world during the decadent seventies and glamorous go-go eighties, to her humiliating failures both professional and personal, and her remarkable comeback in the nineties. Like Coco Chanel, Diane has always been her own best advertisement. Morphing from a frizzy brunette outsider in a sea of sleek blondes to a stunning pop cultural icon, she embodied the brand she created—"the DVF woman," a model of self-sufficiency, sensuality, and confidence.

Diliberto's captivating, balanced portrait, based on scores of interviews with Diane's family, friends, lovers, employees, and the designer herself, explores von Furstenberg's relationships with her husbands and lovers, and illuminates fashion's evolution from rare luxury to marketing monster and the development of a uniquely American style. Lively and insightful, the book also explores the larger world of the nation's elite, where fashion, culture, society, politics, and Hollywood collide. Diane von Furstenberg is a modern fable of self-invention, fame, wealth, failure, and success that mirrors late-twentieth century America itself.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/07/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062041234
ASIN:
B00G291DE0
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Gioia Diliberto. (2015). Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped. Dey Street Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Gioia Diliberto. 2015. Diane Von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped. Dey Street Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Gioia Diliberto, Diane Von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped. Dey Street Books, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Gioia Diliberto. Diane Von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped. Dey Street Books, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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        Gioia Diliberto is a journalist, biographer, and novelist. She is the author of the biographies Paris without End: The True Story of Hemingway's First Wife, A Useful Woman: The Early Life of Jane Addams, and Debutante: The Story of Brenda Frazier and the novels I Am Madame X and The Collection. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Smithsonian, and Vanity Fair, and she is a visiting lecturer in writing at the Savannah College of Art and Design and DePaul University. She lives in Chicago.

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shortDescription

A sweeping biography of one of the most influential and controversial legends of New York fashion—the iconic designer whose creations captured the modern feminist spirit

In 1969, when women's liberation and equal rights were on everyone's lips, twenty-two-year-old Diane von Furstenberg set out to have a career of her own. The daughter of a Holocaust survivor, Diane grew up a frizzy-haired, gap-toothed outsider in Brussels. Improbably, she became the wife of Austrian nobleman Egon von Furstenberg, moved to New York City, and quickly made herself a fixture of an outrageous fashion scene. Pregnant and lugging a suitcase of samples to department stores, Diane started a dress business with three styles—and in 1973, stormed onto the national stage with the invention of the wrap dress.

Embraced for its flattering style by millions of American women of all ages, sizes, and shapes, the dress became a cult object, tied inexorably to the image Diane projected of...

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title
Diane von Furstenberg
fullDescription

A sweeping biography of one of the most influential and controversial legends of late twentieth-century fashion, an iconic designer whose colorful creations, including the "wrap dress," captured the modern feminist spirit.

The daughter of a Holocaust survivor and wife of an Austrian nobleman, Diane von Furstenberg burst onto New York's fashion scene in 1969, and within a few years became an international sensation with her colorful wrap dress in printed jersey. Embraced by millions of American women of all ages, sizes, and shapes, the dress became a cult object and symbol of women's liberation, tied inexorably to the image of youth, independence, and sex Diane herself projected.

In this masterful biography, Gioia Diliberto brings Diane's extraordinary life into focus, from her post-World-War-II childhood in Belgium, through her rise to the top of the fashion world during the decadent seventies and glamorous go-go eighties, to her humiliating failures both professional and personal, and her remarkable comeback in the nineties. Like Coco Chanel, Diane has always been her own best advertisement. Morphing from a frizzy brunette outsider in a sea of sleek blondes to a stunning pop cultural icon, she embodied the brand she created—"the DVF woman," a model of self-sufficiency, sensuality, and confidence.

Diliberto's captivating, balanced portrait, based on scores of interviews with Diane's family, friends, lovers, employees, and the designer herself, explores von Furstenberg's relationships with her husbands and lovers, and illuminates fashion's evolution from rare luxury to marketing monster and the development of a uniquely American style. Lively and insightful, the book also explores the larger world of the nation's elite, where fashion, culture, society, politics, and Hollywood collide. Diane von Furstenberg is a modern fable of self-invention, fame, wealth, failure, and success that mirrors late-twentieth century America itself.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times Sunday Book Review
      • content: "Fascinating."
      • premium: False
      • source: Wall Street Journal
      • content: "Un-put-downable."
      • premium: False
      • source: Providence Journal
      • content: One of BUSTLE's "11 Women In Nonfiction Who Are Totally Killing It" "Diliberto captures Diane's determination in the early days to build a fashion brand and her great success striking the exact right note at the right moment with the creation of her modern wrap dress."
      • premium: False
      • source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
      • content: "A compelling portrait."
      • premium: False
      • source: Chicago Tribune
      • content: "Absorbing . . . an all-access pass into the life of this enterprising artist [and] a lively portrait of a bold and determined woman as colorful and alluring as her fashions."
      • premium: False
      • source: Chicago Business Journal
      • content: "Fast and engrossing...a fun and insightful read about both the woman and the larger fashion universe."
      • premium: False
      • source: Daily Mail (London)
      • content: "Explores the pulse and impulses of the designer."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "Unwrap and enjoy."
      • premium: False
      • source: Newsday on Paris without End
      • content: "Fascinating....A detailed, grittier portrait of the woman Hemingway loved and left."
      • premium: False
      • source: Vogue on Paris Without End
      • content: "A bittersweet modern love story [that] reads as easily as a novel . . . their intimacy and candour was the raw material for Hemingway's great early short stories which achieved a powerful new realism about he relations between men and women."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Boston Globe on Paris Without End
      • content: "A fresh and incisive look at the first—and most intriguing—of [Hemingway's] four wives."
      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco Chronicle on I Am Madame X
      • content: "Diliberto's prose . . . sings . . . leaves the reader with a vivid sense of the beauty in question, in both the painter's version, and the lady's herself."
      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Times on I Am Madame X
      • content: "A complex and often incredibly fun portrait . . . Diliberto deftly highlights the heady social whirl of Paris . . . [A] handsomely imagined story."
      • premium: False
      • source: Vogue on The Collection
      • content: "Postwar Paris and the ruthlessly competitive atelier of Coco Chanel come to glamorously gritty life."
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2015

        Having chronicled the lives of interesting and interestingly different women from Hadley Richardson, Hemingway's first wife, to the crusading Jane Addams, Diliberto leaps to another challenge: a full-scale portrait of iconic fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, daughter of a Holocaust survivor and wife of an Austrian nobleman, who gave us the fun and liberating wrap dress. Unwrap and enjoy.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        July 1, 2015
        In the rarefied world of capital-F Fashion, there are names (Dior, Chanel) and then there are initials (YSL, DVF), designers whose creations may not immediately spring to mind for casual fashionistas but who have changed the way women have come to think about the image they present to the world via the clothes they wear. Few epitomize this clothing-as-self mantra as fully as Diane von Furstenberg, who captured the world's designers' and department stores' attention back in the 1970s with a simple, easy-to-wear dress that became known as the wrap. In a thorough and balanced look at von Furstenberg's life, Diliberto not only probes the pain caused by her roller-coaster professional and personal mishaps but tallies the triumphs that came through sheer perseverance and an unwavering belief in her abilities and vision. Fresh on the heels of von Furstenberg's second memoir (The Woman I Wanted to Be, 2014), Diliberto's biography of a determined yet often self-destructive woman adds to the legacy this force for fashion and female autonomy has bequeathed to the world.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

subtitle
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publisher
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