True story about a famous dress ~ by Jean Coburn

Meeting Diane von Furstenberg

I’m on cloud nine! Tonight I met Diane von Furstenberg at the Bellevue Nordstrom store. She was on tour promoting her new fragrance. I was looking for a new scent, so I popped by to sniff (and purchase) DIANE (the parfum) and meet Diane (the legend).

You might not know that my interest in style has a lot to do with my Oma (grandma). She was always a polished, fashionable woman who had great wardrobe tips. I watched, I learned, and I was lucky enough to receive her original DVF two-piece wrap from the early 1970s. I believe this pattern debuted in the ’73-’74 season at the beginning of Diane’s career.


Two-piece wrap: Vintage DVF
Tights: Hue
Necklace: Macy’s
Bag: Thrifted
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik via thrifted

I wore the outfit to meet Diane von Furstenberg. She literally invented the wrap dress and I wanted to show my appreciation of a classic item by wearing it to the event. I thought she might recognize it and be pleased that something that she designed had been worn and loved for close to forty years.

I lined up behind the velvet ropes with a lot of other women and waited for my turn. Diane was sitting on a table near the escalators. We were escorted to her one at a time for an introduction and a hello. I wasn’t trying to make a statement about me by wearing the vintage dress, but I got Diane’s attention.

photo courtesy of

When it was my turn, I walked over to her and her eyes lit up. She said, “That’s an old dress. I made that one in the 70s.” Then she asked the professional photographers to take extra photos of us together. I told her how Oma (and Diane, through Oma’s impeccable taste) influenced my style.

Here’s where it gets even more awesome: Diane offered to purchase my dress from me! She said, “Will you sell it? I’ll buy that and give you a new one.” Wow! But I couldn’t. I thanked her and told her this particular dress has a history and means too much to me.

Here’s what I found on Twitter when I got home:

She shrugged and signed my parfum bottle and her headshot and I was on my way. But not before she told me that somewhere there’s a photo of her wearing this same dress. I’m going to find it.

Diane was elegant, cordial, and genuine at the meeting. I was elated. I’m not the “fan” type (for anyone), but I was excited to meet her and nervous when I did.

That was supposed to be the end of the story, but it got weird on the way back to the car. Like a klutz, I was walking to the parking lot when I decided to change direction. In the process, I tripped over my foot and landed on the ground. Full asphalt contact: first knee, then hip, and finally shoulder. All the while I was holding up my shopping bag so I wouldn’t break my autographed bottle.

I also thought that if I ripped the dress it would be worthless and Diane wouldn’t want to buy it from me (not that I’m selling it). The funny thing is, Oma was always concerned when, as a child, I fell. She’d run over and say, “how’s your dress? Wounds heal, but you can’t replace that outfit.” I loved it! Shouldn’t it be the other way around? But Oma said it in a way that made me feel better (even though I know she wasn’t joking).

So there I was, lying on the cement in Oma’s dress. I quickly got up, embarrassed, but uninjured. Then I inspected myself. The outfit was fine. Somehow I’d managed not to ruin it. Maybe Oma was looking out for me. It might have been her way of saying, “Thanks for not selling my dress. In exchange, here’s a soft landing.”

DIANE parfum and gift bag

I spritzed a bit of DIANE in my car and laughed at the crazy evening I’d had. Fashion is certainly a wild ride sometimes.

❤️ ❤️ ❤️

Originally from Jeanofalltrades written October 19, 2011 – reblogged in memory of my mom Lora. August 9, 1926 – November 11, 2001

Other posts about this famous dress now worn by three generations!

About carmen

Let’s make the world a better place with compassion.
This entry was posted in Fashion, Jeanofalltrades, Memories, Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to True story about a famous dress ~ by Jean Coburn

  1. carmen says:

    Thank you Jean for sharing this great story! I reblogged it for Oma’s birthday! Little did she know when she bought this dress that you would meet Diane someday and that Diane would offer to buy it back!! ❤️ What a wonderful experience (except for the tripping part) but even that is funny looking back! 🙂


  2. Hello Carmen , and Jean! What a fabulous moment for you to come face to face with DVF Jean ! I know from following your Mom what an influence your Grandma was on all you Ladies in the family ! You look fabulous in the dress , so stylish and a great way to start for DVF. That was so nice that the professional photographers took your photo. It is good she was so genuine to you , a lot of famous people treat these events more as a chore than appreciating their fans. Oh I am so sorry to hear of your fall but glad you were ok and the dress survived ! How funny of your Oma to lighten your fall with a quick joke about your dresses. She must have been looking out for you on that special day. Thanks for the lovely post from 2011, best wishes to you, Terri xo.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello! Thanks for your kind comment. It certainly was a memorable day. I’m so happy that DVF was genuine and engaged at that event. It’s a special dress and she knew it. My Oma was a big influence on my Mom and me, which made this event even better.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. dousedinpink says:

    I’m a huge fan of DVF! So cool you got to meet her and that she wanted to buy your dress! Glad you are okay after your fall!

    Jill – Doused in Pink

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh my word! I am a huge DvF fan! How amazing is that meeting. I am a bit envious here! Are you Dutch btw?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joan C says:

    Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. utesmile says:

    What a fabulous story, how exciting. I do recognise this dress from your other posts. Your mum , Jean’s Oma surely was a fabulous lady. She would be proud of you and Jean for keeping dresses and wearing them again and again. Coming with many memories!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. kukkakarli says:

    I really enjoyed your story. Thanks for that.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Maggie Li says:

    Wow what a great story! Glad to hear you didn’t sell the dress , it had so much memories!

    Liked by 2 people

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