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Wrap dress

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Title: Wrap dress  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: House dress, Diane von Fürstenberg, Wrap (clothing), Clothing, Halston
Collection: 1970S Fashion, 1990S Fashion, 2010S Fashion, Dresses, Feminism and the Arts
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Wrap dress

Diane von Fürstenberg wrap dress, Spring-Summer 2014

A wrap dress is a dress with a front closure formed by wrapping one side across the other, and knotting the attached ties that wrap around the back at the waist or fastening buttons. This forms a V-shaped neckline and hugs a woman's curves. A faux wrap dress resembles this design, except that it comes already fastened together with no opening in front, but instead is slipped on over the head. A wrap top is a woman's Top (clothing) cut and constructed in the same way as a wrap dress, but without a skirt.


  • History 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


1960s wrap dress: the navy bindings highlight the wrap-over. (Livrustkammaren collection)

Although it is often claimed that Diane von Fürstenberg 'invented' the wrap dress in 1972/73,[1] Richard Martin, a former curator of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, noted that the form of Fürstenberg's design had already been "deeply embedded into the American designer sportswear tradition," with her choice of elastic, synthetic fabrics distinguishing her work from earlier wrap dresses.[2] Wrap dresses had been designed by Elsa Schiaparelli in the 1930s,[3][4] and Claire McCardell in the 1940s, whose original 'popover' design became the basis for a variety of wrap-around dresses.[5]

Michelle Obama wearing a Diane von Fürstenberg wrap dress in 2010

The Fürstenberg interpretation of the wrap dress, which was consistently knee-length, in a clinging jersey, with long sleeves, was so popular and so distinctive that the style has generally become associated with her.[6][7][8] She has stated that her divorce inspired the design,[9] and also suggested it was created in the spirit of enabling women to enjoy sexual freedom.[10] There has even been a book dedicated entirely to Fürstenberg's wrap dresses.[11]

Wrap dresses achieved their peak of popularity in the mid to late 1970s, and the design has been credited with becoming a symbol of women's liberation in the 1970s.[12][13] They experienced renewed popularity beginning in the late 1990s,[14] and in, for instance, the Netherlands, the chain Sissy-Boy designs and manufactures them, with some adaptations for the Dutch market.[15] Diane von Fürstenberg reintroduced the wrap dress in 1997[7] and she, among others, has continued to design wrap dresses since then. Their popularity, as well as their perceived feminist significance, remains current in the 2010s.[13]

See also


  1. ^ Grufferman, Barbara Hannah (20 February 2012). "The Wrap Star: Why Diane Von Fürstenberg Is Still On A Roll". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Martin, Richard (1998). American ingenuity : sportswear, 1930s - 1970s. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 35.  
  3. ^ "Elsa Schiaparelli". Vogue. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Binkley, Christina (April 27, 2012). "Two Divas (One Dead) Talk Fashion". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Polan, Brenda; Tredre, Roger (2009). The great fashion designers (English ed.). Oxford: Berg Publishers. p. 93.  
  6. ^ Miller, Amanda Christine (January 16, 2008). "Diane von Fürstenberg On Wrap Dresses And The Joys Of Aging Gracefully". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "Diane von Fürstenberg". Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Diane von Fürstenberg". Fashion Model Directory. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  9. ^ Borresen, Kelsey (9 November 2012). "Diane von Fürstenberg Wrap Dress Inspired By Designer's Divorce". Huff Post. Retrieved 4 February 2013. 
  10. ^ Walden, Celia (6 April 2011). "Diane von Fürstenberg: interview". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Talley, André Leon (2004). Diane von Fürstenberg : the wrap. New York, NY: Assouline.  
  12. ^ "Wrap superstar: Designer Diane von Fürstenberg tells her story". The Independent on Sunday (London). March 27, 2008. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b  
  14. ^  
  15. ^ Rossum, Milou van (24 April 2010). "Hollands motief" (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 August 2013. 

External links

  • A 1970s von Fürstenberg jersey wrap dress at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • "Diane von Fürstenberg 'Journey of a Dress' exhibition opens in L.A." by Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times, January 10, 2014
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