In honor of the 40th anniversary of the wrap dress's birth, Diane von Furstenberg launch "Journey of a Dress" in Los Angeles' historic May Company Building. The exhibit spans the early years of Andy Warhol and Studio 54 all the way up to Amy Adam's wrap dress from American Hustle (2013). And visitors can look forward to custom mannequins designed by Ralph Pucci, who modeled them after vintage photographs of DVF as well as the swagger of Michelangelo's David.
"The wrap dress is the one thing that I owe everything to," a glowing Diane von Furstenberg tells us at the opening of her new exhibit inside LA's historic May Company Building. "She paid for all of my bills, she paid for my children's education, she gave me my fame. Sometimes I even resented the wrap dress because, whenever someone said my name, they always tied it to the dress. I wanted to say, 'Hey, I make other things, too!' But as I got older I realized its impact. It now has a life of its own. The wrap dress gave me my freedom."
From Cybil Shepard in 1976's Taxi Driver to Globes winner Amy Adams in 2013's American Hustle, DVF's iconic wrap dress has been revered by Hollywood for decades, which is why the famed designer knew Los Angeles was the perfect place to celebrate her creation's 40th birthday. Journey of a Dress is a dazzling retrospective that showcases a collection of vintage and contemporary wrap dresses, as well as portraits of Diane by some of her famous friends, including Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, Mario Testino and Chuck Close. It's truly a sight to see.
Upon stepping into the historic May Company Building, your first sighting is a timeline hall that illustrates the wrap's history in film and pop culture. Diane's dream team for the exhibit: Bill Katz (exhibition designer), Stefan Beckman (production designer), Michael Herz (fashion curator) and Franca Vianello Dantes (archival curator).
The exhibition's main room features an army of mannequins donning vintage and anniversary wrap dresses. Designed by Ralph Pucci, the custom mannequins were sculpted from vintage photographs of DVF. Diane tells us that she wanted them to have "strong bones and a strong nose." Additional empowerment is reflected in mannequins' pose, which was meant to mimic the pose of Michelangelo's famous David statue. Production designer Stefan Beckman explains that the mannequins' positioning was inspired by the Terracotta Army.
Before leaving, don't forget to visit the gift shop featuring select items from the DVF and Andy Warhol limited-edition collection, as well as books, postcards, notepads, scarves and a touchscreen where guests can share their wrap story. Looking for a quick souvenir from your visit? There's also an Instagram booth that produces instant print versions of Insta-snaps that include the #journeyofadress hashtag.
Journey of a Dress is open now through April 1st 2014. Exhibition hours are Monday through Tuesday from 11am to 5pm, Friday from 11am to 8pm, and Saturday through Sunday from 10am to 7pm.