Design Q&A with Diane Von Furstenberg

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Diane Von Furstenberg needs little introduction. She first burst onto the world's fashion stage in 1972, empowering women to embrace their femininity. Her trademark wrap dress is still a classic 40 years later, and the importance of her design, "the little dress that could", has been recognized with its own show, curated by Andre Leon Talley.

In 2002, Diane ventured into the world of interiors with a collection for The Rug Company, where her confident eye for design and color was immediately apparent. Her latest collection, with three new designs that showcase animal prints, will launch at Legends of La Cienega. So it's only fitting that she's chosen Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen's memoir of her life in Kenya, as the inspiration for her window at The Rug Company, which will be on view May 7-9.

We sat down with Diane to ask her a few questions about her choice of book for this year's event, her favorite styling tricks, and her best affordable finds.

What inspired you to choose the novel/book you have selected for this year’s LCDQ Legends of La Cienega event?
DVF's new collection for TRC is taken from a range of bold and sophisticated animal prints, so 'Out of Africa' seemed the perfect novel on which to base my window display.

What novel to movie adaptation got the production design/set design right? Please give an example of one that got it wrong, too!
I like to focus on the positive, so I will give you two that I like! Of course Out of Africa was one of the most beautiful film adaptations I have ever seen, and The City of Your Final Destination…it was a Merchant Ivory film adapted from a novel that was set in Uruguay, but it was actually filmed in Argentina and it is gorgeous.

Designers love to feature fashion, art and design books in their finished rooms. What are some of the best hardcover novels to display?
For coffee tables and as decoration, I love art books of all kinds. The bigger and more colorful, the better. Diana Vreeland’s book of memos in her signature shade of red makes a beautiful and unexpected display…For novels, I think it is not so much about display as what you are actually reading!

Everyone loves a great deal. Tell us a quick story about the best bargain you’ve ever found at a vintage store or flea market.
I have shopped at so many places all over the world that it is hard to say…I always love to buy pottery in India…

Excluding fresh flowers in abundance, what is your favorite styling trick?
I love to mix prints and colors… you can never have too many ! But I have a very eclectic style — if you surround yourself with things that truly reflect who you are, they will all work together.

Sometimes even the clients with the biggest budgets fall in love with an affordable item from a popular catalog or online store — what is one of your best affordable finds?
I love to put things on little trays. I use them to organize my desk, or you can put them on a coffee table. I like for them all to be different — the lacquer trays from West Elm are great!

For more on Diane, visit the DVF site.

(Image credits: DVF)

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