We’ve been looking forward to Diane Von Furstenberg‘s spring/summer 2017 collection since back in May, when Jonathan Saunders was appointed the brand’s first chief creative officer. He relocated from London to New York to assume the position and take a majority of the design work away from Von Furstenberg, who wished to focus more on her work in philanthropy; which is a noble cause, yet caused for some concern among fans, who wondered what would become of the brand under the hand of someone else.
However, we were rather pleased when Saunders’ collection walked down the runway for New York Fashion Week. The garments were sharp and feminine, and had the essence of the DVF label, yet distinctly had the Scottish designer’s thumbprint all over it. We were so very happy to note that Saunders seems to have an understanding of the DVF woman.
At the center of this collection’s design were beautiful prints and color, which was mirrored in his work for his now-shuttered eponymous label. His business closed after 12 years of operation in winter of last year, so now we’re happy to see him back in practice, especially at the helm of such an iconic and well-established label. He has such a wonderful eye for patterns that it would have been a shame to not see him in a place to show for such events like a fashion week.
One such dress, his professed favorite, combined a multitude of loud prints with an asymmetrical silhouette that skirted the line of making you dizzy just by looking at it. “I made myself dizzy draping this one,” he said, in an interview with Vogue.
Despite the volume of the prints and the clashing colors, everything carried the sense of ease that comes with a DVF collection. It’s almost as if a woman tossed on an iconic Von Furstenberg dress and was sent through a tunnel of prints and color. The effect is truly remarkable. At many points, as with his favorite, Saunders took inspiration in the label’s classic wrap dress from 1974 and viewed it through a more contemporary lens.
Every piece in the Diane Von Furstenberg spring/summer 2017 collection wasn’t wanting for femininity either. They were each delicate in all the right areas and used restraint where it was called for. So, on top of his eye for mixing print and color, Saunders knows how to design for the feminine woman’s form.
His asymmetry, while not particularly edgy, brought about some unexpected moments in the line through manipulating the patterns as well as bringing it in through the expected hemlines and sleeve/straps; in some points, for instance, he cut off a print where it might have otherwise been dropped to the hem.
This breakout collection has us particularly excited to see where he decides to go next for the brand. We can clearly see that he understands what a DVF collection should entail while still having room to put himself into the lines.
The collection was smart, flirty, and perfectly wearable, which is especially impressive for a designer’s debut collection at the helm of a brand; we can likely expect that it will only get better from here!
Photos courtesy of Vogue