Iman in DVF ad, circa 1982
Legendary Designer and CFDA President, Dianne von Furstenberg made a rare television appearance alongside iconic supermodel, Iman on Bravo TV’s Watch What Happens Live!, in what they called a “Fashion Iconversation”. The show is sort of a live talk that wraps the reality programs, and is hosted by the network’s jovial Senior VP, Andy Cohen. This particular taping went live following the revamped version of Project Runway, which is called The Fashion Show (hosted by Isaac Mizrahi and Iman.) Clearly Iman works for the network, has a relationship with Andy, and has spunk and the personality that lends itself to live programming – she had witty answers, including saying “David Bowie” when asked “what do you sleep in?”.
The decision to bring in DVF served as a PR opportunity for the launch of her forthcoming home line, that outfitted the set and debuts in February. One of the first comments from DVF was that it looked “like an escort service in here”. From then on their was a sense of discomfort in DVF’s body language (she practically had her back to Andy & Iman), and based on the tweets from some of the viewers, (who called her a “frigid bitch”), the opinion is that she was aloof and annoyed. One question from a viewer was, “Iman, do you eat human embryo’s? you look fantastic!”, to which DVF responded, “she is from africa!” The designer was obviously being facetious, but this comment came after her earlier account of first meeting “this extraordinary creature” who had “just arrived” and kneeled down in the most extraordinary way, carrying a basket…upcharging phone wire bracelets from Zulu crafters doesn’t even come close to the fine line with exoticizing African models.
Diane von Furstenerg bracelets, $100 each
Perhaps the most educational highlights of the conversation were #1: the re-introduction of DVF’s 1976 book, Diane von Furstenberg’s Book of Beauty: How to Become a More Attractive, Confident and Sensual Woman. I’m personally excited about reading chapter 6 entitled, “Brazil? With my hair? Never!”
and #2: the story of the infamous DVF wrap dress! When a caller asked who was the first celebrity that DVF recalled wearing her clothing, her answer was that the (then) President Nixon’s daughter Julie made a speech wearing a little wrap top with a matching skirt, and that was when she thought to do them together as a dress! Once again we find that fashion is historically political…