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Diane: A Signature Life Paperback – June 11, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1973, Diane Von Furstenburg introduced her now famous wrap dress, an outfit she estimates has "found its way into almost every closet in America," becoming a cultural icon, symbolic of women's growing sexual and financial freedom. Five years later, in 1978, the market appeared to be saturated with the dress and the era of the wrap came to a close. Today, Von Furstenburg has updated and reissued the dress for a new generation; launched fragrance, cosmetics and couture companies; and ventured into the home-shopping business. She asks that this memoir "inspire those who read it," and certainly the determination and verve with which she has overcome each setback in her life?be it a business reversal, a love affair turned sour or a cancer diagnosis?might prove inspirational to some. But despite the fascinating raw materials of her life (the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, she married a German prince, becoming a jet-setting socialite/entrepreneur/mother/paramour), this autobiography offers far more glitz than grist for thought. She drops names and brand names so interchangeably that we know not only who the celebrities are who buy her clothes but when the author received her first Pucci shirt. When Von Furstenburg reflects on her philosophy of life?"to me, life is love is life is love. I put those words on a T-shirt once"?readers may suspect that the real purpose here is to sell apparel. And sell it will. Photos not seen by PW. First serial to Vogue.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Von Furstenberg looks back at 50.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143917587X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439175873
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,022,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Yes, she came from a privileged background, and had many doors opened for her as a result, but definitely deserves all credit for what she made of those opportunities. She plays down the business side of herself, preferring to highlight the creative aspects of her personality, but underneath it all, she does seem to possess a sharp business sense and an intuition for how to best position and market her products. Also, the ability to constantly reinvent herself, and seek out new ideas comes through in the book. Her success story is inspiring.

On the negative side, there was too much name-dropping. Some parts were annoyingly elitist - I think she must have said at least half a dozen times in the book (or at least it seems that way) that her ex-husband was a prince whose bloodline descends from the roman empire (or some other empire, don't remember). Connections to royalty are mentioned in awestruck tones, which is grating on the nerve. There is also a lot of touting of her own achievements - admittedly the pride is well deserved, but some subtlety in talking about it would have been classier.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm not a follower of fashion or the society pages, but you don't have to be to love this book. It's a great business story, and a poignant look at an extraordinary woman's life. It has glamour, romance, sex, love, business triumphs and disappointments, motherhood, royalty, the Holocaust, cancer, literature, and more fresh starts than you can count. What a life.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Disclaimer - I love DVF from afar . She has had an incredibly romantic , nomadic & stylish life that I too craved . Having worked my entire life in the milieu of fashion , albeit a different market in Los Angeles I had admired DVF as
a fledgling designer while in my teens . So of course I appreciated this book and the honestly of this woman's choices . Having written this I wanted more ! DVF is an intelligent highly cultivated person . I want to read her book .
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Entertaining, not badly written, but a relatively superficial portrait of the subject and offers almost no information about the other characters or insights into any of the relationships. I imagine it served its purpose, which was apparently not to reflect, analyze, or explain. There's an incoherent feeling to the story; people and events enter and depart without preparation or summation, and the subject's emotional life is given very short shrift. One wonders how the sequence of life choices depicted here was constructed and how it culminated in repeated success. What kinds of strategic thinking allowed such unconventional behavior, and what were the tactics that let her get away with it? For most of the rest of us, trying to keep so many balls in the air would lead to exhaustion, smashed noses, and blackened eyes.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Diane von Furstenburg has an interesting story to tell, and I'm glad she shared it with us. She namedrops throughout but not because she's out to impress, but rather those "names" of artists, designers, socialites, et al, have been in her circle of friends.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good early biography of Diane Von Furstenberg, but it is not as good as The Woman I Wanted to Be as that book is more current and update. Her life didn't stop after this book was published and written. She is still living an active and full life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Diane Von Furstenburg writes her autobiography in a very friendly and accessible manner, despite quite an extraordinary story. Her story, while not always relatable due to her status as princess and her very famous friends (presidents, actors and directors, Andy Warhol, fellow designers, etc.), is still very inspiring for any women with big dreams. It was incredibly to read how she balanced - usually successfully (but not always) - personal life, her business, and her children. Her recollections of 1970s New York City were like a viewfinder into a raw world that defined much of our culture today - Studio 54, Andy Warhol, the beginnings of Rolling Stone Magazine... it's all there, written in a very intriguing and entertaining manner.
I loved reading this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Toyed with downloading this book for a while. Love DVF and her image of sophistication and strength. Though infeel like she glossed over many of the more emotional times in her life (as she said she would in the intro), this is a solid and quick read...a glimpse into the life of a woman who had it all and fought to keep it.
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