Diane von Furstenberg has figured it all out — "it" in this case being how to reappropriate the runway show into the most efficient marketing machine for the Instagram and Snapchat era. Fashion media likes to throw that description around — "oh, that set was so Instagrammable "— but DVF has raised the bar. In fact, she took that bar and she blasted it into space.
On Sunday evening, instead of presenting her fall 2016 collection at a seated runway show, the designer turned her Meatpacking District store and headquarters into a multilevel interactive theater of sorts, in which the models of the moment never stopped dancing, posing and grooving. And just in case you missed that perfect moment when Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner made cute faces together as they posed for Karlie Kloss's pink Polaroid camera, the photogenic charade was on a cyclical schedule. Every magical moment repeated itself at some point, because time is a flat circle and "We Are Family" was on an infinite loop. At one point DVF led a conga line of the aforementioned Insta-girls, as well as Lily Aldridge, Jourdan Dunn, Irina Shayk, Elsa Hosk and Alanna Arrington, away from the main stage on the second floor (set up like a boudoir) and I thought that maybe something would happen. But just as quickly as they sashayed away, they came right back.
Elsewhere, in a carnival funhouse-like set, models ducked in and out of mirrored hallways on platforms and posed for professional photographers, who I assume were told to be vocal because they gave a lot of directions. "Lineisy, come back! Please! Stand in that corner again!" said one. (Note: Lineisy ignored said directions.) Another vignette was set up like an office, harkening back to DVF's strong alignment with the working woman, in which several desks held stacks of blank, light gray office paper. Watching Stella Lucia moodily move pages around was a personal highlight of the event.
All the classic DVF elements were on display in the actual clothing and accessories: gold, jewel-toned and densely pattered wrap dresses; sparkly jumpsuits; '70s-style combinations of trousers, pussy-bow blouses, vests and suede skirts; fur stoles; knee high boots; and short brim hats. But enough about the clothes — it's the models we care about! DVF knows it, we know and even the models know it.
Upstairs on the main stage, the heavy-hitters led by Kloss and Aldridge — who seemingly had the responsibility of picking up the dancing and posing during lulls — performed for a giant mass of onlookers. At one point, DVF dragged Carine Roitfeld up on stage and Kloss reached out to greet notable guests including Derek Blasberg and Emmanuelle Alt. Jamie King also jumped into the dancing model mob.
For the grand finale, the models from downstairs came up to the dance floor and almost overflowed the stage. As I watched from the bar across the room, I could barely see the models' bobbing heads through the dense layer of cameras and phones from the crowd. Suddenly a model hoisted a plum colored fringed bucket bag above her head and moved it rhythmically to the words "I got all my sisters with me." I took a final Snapchat video and left, knowing we had finally reach it — branding nirvana.