Diane Von Furstenberg Home Fabrics


ELLE DECOR: How would you characterize great design?
DIANE VON FURSTENBERG: There’s design and there’s art. Good design is total harmony. There’s no better designer than nature—if you look at a branch or a leaf, it’s perfect. It’s all function. Art is different. It’s about emotion. It’s about suffering and beauty—but mostly suffering!
ED: Do you think the current economic climate is good or bad for design?
DVF: A challenging economy is always good for design. It unites necessity and functionality. You are forced to be creative with poor materials.
ED: You created the wrap dress, one of the great problem-solving designs of the 20th century, during the early 1970s, another period of economic turmoil.
DVF: It’s more amazing to me now than it was then. It’s crazy that something has survived so long and continues to appeal to so many different young women. It’s still 15 percent of my business. It’s functional, extremely flattering, and very reliable. It’s definitely a good design. Anything that has survived that long is not hype.
ED: What is the difference between how men and women design clothes?
DVF: Christian Lacroix once told me that women designers make clothes and men designers make costumes. I think that’s true.
ED: There’s plenty of design on runways that’s not very functional. When you see those clothes, what do you think?
DVF: It’s their problem, not mine.
ED: Where is the most exciting design happening?
DVF: I’d have to say Africa. They use and recycle everything there. The way they put things together—things that really have to work and perform a function—that to me is great design.
ED: Have you bought anything lately that you love?
DVF: The iPad! What is better designed than that? I read magazines on it, I play Scrabble. I use it for everything. Read more.


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