Diane von Furstenberg at LACMA

Dressing Up at LACMA: It’s a Wrap

by Jeanne S. M. Willette

My friend, the great painter, Lena Rivkin (www.lenarivkin.com), and I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see the Diane von Fursteberg dresses on display at the old May Company building. The exhibition, which included the many depictions by many artists of the designer, was free. The room was mirrored and black, reflecting the three triangular islands of mannequins dressed in the famous wrap dress in all of its many variations. The floors were painted in DvK prints, creating a sense of a much larger space for what was actually a small and compact show. The audience—largely female of all generations—were delighted, posing, taking pictures, doing selfies and smiling in delight.

Lena and I spoke briefly to two older ladies, who like many of the women, came dressed for the occasion, wearing they told us, Lily Pulitzer. Women came with their mothers and daughters while the husbands and boyfriends looked on benignly. In my opinion, the wrap dress can quickly go matronly and it has always been too conservative for me, but the evening dresses in particular were lovely—classic and timeless. The gift shop had $100 tee shirts and $400 purses but nothing a normal woman could afford. Lena and I suggested the two women at the entrance, who worked for DvK, that they would sell more tee shirts if they priced them at $20. The lovely ladies, however, were not convinced and announced to us that DvK does not sell “cheap clothes.” True and that’s why we all own at least one knock off of the Wrap Dress (in case someone should ask me to wear a dress).

The show has been so popular it has been held over until May 1st.