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Diane von Furstenberg Manhattan Penthouse

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Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg’s live/work space in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District—a glass-and-steel aerie the occupant calls her “tree house”—appears to be just that.“Everybody told me when I came to this neighborhood that I was crazy—that it was full of drag queens, that it smelled awful because of all the butchers,” says the Brussels-born designer, who moved to New York in 1969 with her first husband, Fiat scion Prince Egon von Furstenberg. “All of that is true,” she continues. “And yet in a weird way the cobblestone streets remind me of Belgium.”

The crowning achievement of a six-story, 35,000-square-foot structure comprising Von Furstenberg’s design studio and flagship store, the penthouse is the latest in a parade of distinctive personal spaces that began with a baronial Park Avenue apartment. “When I was young, I lived like an old woman,” the 65-year-old grandmother of three explains, “and when I got old, I had to live like a young person.” 

Here, the architects merged a pair of Victorian redbrick buildings she acquired in 2006. What was once a gap between the structures is now a concrete staircase that leads from the ground floor to a rooftop lair containing a live/work space and, above that, a 900-square-foot master suite with a terrace.

{live from the runway} Diane von Furstenberg RTW Spring 2013

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For Spring 2013, Diane Von Furstenberg showed several dresses over pants, including a draped one-shoulder version with trousers in the same colorful print, and a linear navy halter dress over fluid orange pants. Adornment abounded: She decked out a suit and a top in little metal spheres, which she also piled onto her statement-making heels. Draped blouses with billowing sleeves and palazzo pants added to the collection’s glamour. “She’s a rebel princess who dresses up, but at the same time she can’t wait to sneak out and go clubbing,” von Furstenberg said.

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{collections} Diane von Furstenberg Resort 2013

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Diane von Furstenberg and her creative director Yvan Mispelaere titled their resort collection Zoom “because the closer you get, the more you see,” said von Furstenberg. They envisioned the lineup, brimming with youthful energy, color and trompe l’oeil effects, as a trip across the U.S. through the eyes of two Europeans who find classic Americana to be quite exotic.

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