Diane Von Furstenberg Dress Designer Extraordinaire

  If you own any dresses, take a peek inside your closet, and you may find one of the most popular styles that not only reigns supreme today but extends back several decades: the “wrap dress.

image for article Diane Von Furstenberg Dress Designer Extraordinaire

If you own any dresses, take a peek inside your closet, and you may find one of the most popular styles that not only reigns supreme today but extends back several decades: the “wrap dress.”

The wrap dress is defined by its tie waist, meaning that the wearer fastens the dress by “wrapping” the fabric around the waist and securing it with a tie.  In many cases, it includes a belt that is built into the structure of the dress itself.

The brain behind this staple clothing item was none other than Diane Von Furstenberg, a Belgian-turned-New Yorker who created the design in 1974 and went on to sell over a million in quantity only two years after inventing the style. Her label, DvF, still produces clothing today, as evidence of her impact on the fashion world and her creation of timeless designs.

Lucky for us, we can purchase vintage DvF pieces on sites like Thrilling, paying homage to Diane’s brilliance through the years in our wardrobe. There is something special about owning vintage clothing because vintage pieces each tell their own story and preserve a point in time. They set you apart from the crowd and make your style especially unique.

We’re here to walk you through some chic, authentic DvF pieces that you may want to add to your collection, but first, let’s take a closer look at Diane. 

A Powerful Woman

In many ways, Diane Von Furstenberg can be seen as a trailblazing force for women, making a start for herself during a time in history when gender norms were still more restrictive. Despite having married into wealth, Diane is quoted in The New York Times in 1977 as saying, “The minute I knew I was about to be Egon's wife, I decided to have a career. I wanted to be someone of my own and not just a plain little girl who got married beyond her desserts."

She is an inspiration to women, not only having driven forward her career but also having attended college at the University of Geneva and having received several awards throughout her lifetime.

Diane’s designs have transcended time, as celebrities have worn her dresses as early as the 1970s and as recently as the 2010s.

That being said, when you wear a DvF piece, know that you are sporting a female-owned, historically iconic brand.

The Benefits of Going Vintage

As we mentioned earlier, we believe that shopping vintage is special because it will ensure that your wardrobe is made up of unique, often one-of-a-kind items. Not only that, but it is a great way to support smaller businesses and to shop more sustainably.

And if that is not enough incentive for you, modern DvF dresses that are being sold today are tagged at; wait for it...hundreds of dollars.

We’re here to guide you through some options that will give you all the benefits of a vintage designer label (often at a bargain price). 

A Guide to Wearing DvF

While Diane Von Furstenberg is best known for her invention of the wrap dress, her label is home to that style and more. Her dresses come in different shapes and colors, so we encourage you to search for the style that best suits you.

Straight-Cut Dresses

If you prefer something that does not cinch at the waist, we suggest checking out DvF items that are most resemblant to the mod and shift dresses of the 1960s. Differing from the wrap style, dresses of this nature are often long-lined and include a higher neckline, making them a great option if you also prefer more coverage on the top half of your body.

This particular DvF abstract print shift dress dates back to the 1960s, prior to Diane’s creation of the wrap dress. Its bright orange pattern is true to the bold colors and abstract prints of the ‘60s, making it the perfect piece if you want an eye-catching look. Keep in mind; we recommend wearing lighter colors like this for daytime events. 

This green heart print dress from the ‘70s has similar features to the previous look, but it is slightly more fitted around the bust and waist. We recommend a color like this darker green if you are looking for something more subtle. However, this abstract heart pattern is still a bold choice and an absolute statement-maker. 

If elaborate patterns aren’t your game, but you still enjoy a cute heart print, something like this purple and white heart print is the way to go. 

Belts and Ties

Now that we’ve covered some straight-cut pieces, let’s get into pieces that more closely resemble Diane’s signature wrap. 

You’ll notice that this ‘70s floral print dress is nearly identical in cut to the pieces we looked at above, but it has one distinct feature: the belt! The belt, similar to the wrap, can be tied around the waist to create more definition for your figure.

This floral print is also much more subdued in comparison to our previous picks, appearing almost like small polka dots at first glance. This look is perfect for a nice dinner out or perhaps even a holiday party.

So far, we’ve looked at dresses that have all been relatively fitted to the torso, but the beauty of a belted option is that you can wear a draped top while still cinching the fabric at your waist. Something like this pleated belt dress is better for warmer days under the sun, with the help of its looser-fitting bust and short sleeves.

As we’ve already mentioned previously, dress styles like these have continued to live on throughout the 2000s. This pocket shirt dress originates from a much more recent decade, but it still features that classic tie around the waist.

We love the added collar and button details, and the hot pink pattern is extra funky. A choice like this is versatile, so wear it out to a casual lunch or dress it up with accessories to take it out to the club.

A Look Unlike Any Other

If you’re looking for a special addition to your closet, investing in a vintage DvF piece means investing in an iconic brand that changed the fashion industry forever. Diane Von Furstenberg was a self-motivated woman who set the trend for decades to come. By wearing vintage items from her label, you too can be a trendsetter. 

Shopping for vintage is like the ultimate treasure hunt. However, online retailers that support small businesses like Thrilling make it easy to wrap up (puns!) your look adventure. You don’t need to devote loads of time to find the style that makes you feel your best and most comfortable.

And when you nail that criteria, you will feel amazing and stand apart from the crowd. Wearing DvF is an ode to a historic change within fashion; we’re all about feminist empowerment meeting chic style.  


Diane von Furstenberg Biography, Quotes & Facts | British Vogue

Diane von Furstenberg - BoF 500 | The Business of Fashion

The Story Of Diane von Furstenberg's Most Iconic Dresses | Marie Claire 

Fashion History: Trends Of The Mid 1960s | Vintage Fashion Guild 

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