DIANE VON FURSTENBERG & JONATHAN SAUNDERS SPRING 2017 COLLECTION / NEW YORK

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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.  

“It began with the mission to make desirable clothes that are effortless, but imaginative,”

Says chief creative officer Jonathan Saunders.

“It’s about fluidity, movement, sensuality and spontaneity. That’s why we shot everything in motion. It’s in keeping with Diane’s values of how a woman should feel in her clothes.”

Jonathan Saunders did a fantastic job with this collection. His aesthetics and sense of print and color is clearly visible, but DVF’s DNA is everywhere as well. Flawlessly executed, a good balance. 

Dear Jonathan Saunders has had a busy three and a half months.

The Scottish designer moved to New York from London for the newly created chief creative officer role at Diane von Furstenberg, and straight out of the gate he’s shaking things up.  

Diane Von Furstenberg herself has stepped away from the design room to devote more time to her philanthropic work, among other things. Her new hire’s Spring collection for the label, while recognizably DVF, has his imprint all over it.

Saunders came up during London’s digital-print boom. He made prints a centerpiece of his eponymous collection, which he shuttered after about 12 years in business late last year.  

He’s also got an exceptional eye for color, often in clashing combinations. He put all that into play in the new lineup. Pointing to his favorite dress at a preview this morning, an on-the-bias, asymmetric confection that combines multiple dot and floral prints, he said,  

“I made myself dizzy draping this one.”  

The dress’s asymmetry evokes the ease of Von Fustenberg’s original, iconic 1974 wrap dress, but in a more contemporary way.  

Saunders used asymmetry throughout the collection: by cutting other frocks and shirts with a fluttery sleeve on one side and a delicate strap on the other; by mixing prints, including a very pretty peony motif; or, in one case, by not extending a print all the way to a dress’s hem—an artful detail that felt unexpected for DVF.

The collection encompasses outerwear, including cotton and leather trenches, the latter with a lavish, detachable fox fur collar, as well as clingy ribbed knits and fancy pants with fold-over waistbands and striped grosgrain ribbon detailing.  

He said he expects knits to become a more important part of the business:  

“Knits have a sense of ease that’s right for the brand.”

Still, in a way that’s befitting of Von Furstenberg’s legacy, it’s the dresses that really stand out in Saunders’s first go-round.

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. 

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.

I think this is a wonderful collection!  

What do you think about this collection?

Do you like it?

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Beata Gliniecka ; Fashion is the love of my life. That's what I'm writing and creating do with passion!

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