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Ciao, Bella:
The New Sheath Dress

The classic jersey sheath dress gets a summer makeover on the Bella. Well, we should say makeovers, but we’ll get to that! This particular Bella, a DVF exclusive, brings the boldest print of the Pre-Fall season to this crossover, tie-front style that feels so comfortable, yet looks fearless and modern with on-trend accessories like this essential mule and fringe bag. Prefer a petite print? Try this Bella instead. Or make a solid statement in this raspberry silk version. Can’t get enough? There’s always the edgy leather-and-jersey Bella, a favorite of Natalie Joos, to round out your collection.

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Take the Heat:
The Layla in Rose

We’re putting the spotlight back on the Layla dress. We’ve already shared how to wear this feminine, breezy style to summer weddings, but with things really heating up in New York, we’ve been turning to it for days in the office and weekends alike. One of Diane’s favorite silhouettes, the Layla is a must-have in this ombré floral, which gets a casual twist with an of-the-moment fringe bag and a wooden platform heel. Light and loose, you can’t get much cooler than the Layla dress.

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Shine On:
The Eugenia Embellished Dress

There’s so much to celebrate—especially in the carefree summer months—so we’re matching our look to our mood with these brilliant evening options. For one, our powerstone minaudière now comes in a dazzling caviar leather that will punctuate any outfit, all season long. Next, we’ve found the perfect gold heel that’s just made for dancing. Last, but certainly not least, we’re loving this Eugenia dress, which packs shimmering silk and embellished details into one very mini silhouette. Whatever you’re celebrating, shine on!

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Wrap of the Moment:
The Jewel

We’re big fans of a mixed wrap dress. Jersey meets chiffon. Multi-scaled prints. The possibilities are endless, really, and we’re pleased to be introducing a new one for Pre-Fall. To show off the boldest print of the season, we’ve brought back the Jewel wrap dress with its signature form-fitting jersey top and a flirty pleated skirt, now in a light, textured linen and silk blend. To make the most of the beautiful texture, we’re pairing this wrap with a basketweave clutch, cloth-covered heels, and a wood-grained resin necklace for a fresh, organic summer look.

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Summer Weddings:
The Layla Dress

The summer wedding season is here! With festivities indoors and out, here and afar, we’ve picked this calico Layla dress as our go-to style. It’s easy to pack and effortlessly glamorous—plus, the breezy fit is perfect for dancing when paired with a mid-heel. Tuck your camera and sunglasses in an envelope clutch, add some statement jewelry for shine, and get ready to celebrate. Love is life!

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Desert Calling:
Stylist Natalie Joos on Santa Fe

What about the Pre-Fall Collection inspired you to shoot in New Mexico?
I was immediately inspired by the colors and the ethnic prints, but I didn’t want to get too literal with the African theme. I was looking for a place with sandy tones and soft structures. Some place ethnically ambiguous and unique, that not many people know about. When we found the pueblo in Taos, and read that it was a UNESCO heritage site, I thought it was perfect for DVF. It’s not just a beautiful, magical location; it has history and cultural significance.

And how did you go about choosing the specific location?
I’m a great googler. I just ran down images of desert locations and stumbled upon it.

What surprised you most about the landscape?
The sky is incredible. And the landscape changes as the light moves along. It’s a vast, rural and mountainous area with impressive rock formations. The pueblo itself is very unusual. The Indians still live there, without electricity and gas. They build their own homes and roofs with clay.

Any funny stories from the set?
We saw a really fat dog chase a coyote!

Tell us more about the models and what led you to choose them?
We worked with Gizele Oliveira and Kenya Kinski, both girls I chose because in my opinion they have more to offer than just their pretty faces. Gizele has amazing style and gets noticed on the street by photographers. Her instagram account is quite fun and colorful. I found Kenya on the Ford Models website and without knowing booked the daughter of Nastassja Kinski and Quincy Jones. I loved both girls for their soft skin color too.

What are you favorite pieces in the pre-fall collection? Any particular print or silhouette you are pining for? 
I love the leopard camo jacket with fur lining.

What tips would you give travelers who follow in your footsteps, i.e., where to stay? Where to shop? Where to eat?
I would refer them to the stories I posted on my site Tales of Endearment. I did a few extra shoots while I was there, highlighting the area and its many marvels.

And finally, any advice on how to wear the Southwestern look without looking too much like a cowgirl?
The fastest way to do that is to wear fringe. There’s more fringe in Santa Fe than on the entire field of Coachella! Santa Fe is the real deal though; none of that silly costume stuff. You could also add a pair of wicked cowboy boots to your outfit. They don’t have to be the usual brown or black. My friend Wendy Henry makes stunning fashion-inspired custom booties at her store Back at the Ranch and you can easily wear them in New York City. I wore mine with a 60’s woven dress and it wasn’t overwhelmingly Southwestern. Turquoise jewelry is easy too. Just stack it on top of what you normally wear. And if you are really brave, you could wear a cool cowboy hat, but I haven’t seen anyone pull that off successfully…

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Summertime Style:
Black, White & Color

We’re firm believers in the black and white print. From oversized zebra to classic chain link to this new tile-inspired floral, our closets have a monochrome for every moment. Now, while we have a few reasons to love this black and white Eugenia dress (feminine pleats and ruffles, a flattering empire waist), what we love the most is pairing it with the season’s most colorful accessories. Fuchsia? Suede? Fringe? Paired with the sweet Eugenia dress, we’ll have it all!

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Summer in the City:
The Purdette Embellished Romper

In the heat of summer, sometimes an embellished gown seems a bit… much. But giving up some fabric doesn’t mean you have to give up on that Studio 54 shine. For this, we turn to the Purdette embellished romper. The loose, cap-sleeve style features allover beading for a dazzling after dark look. Keep the feel light with a sexy stiletto sandal and a jewel of a clutch.

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Wrap of the Moment:
The T72

While we hate to pick favorites (especially in the wrap dress family), it’s worth pointing out that the T72 has been a staple in stylish closets since the mid-1970s. This dress looks fresh as ever in our floral of the season, a painterly, oversized print that’s versatile and chic in midnight and white. For summer’s best parties (think polo matches, garden weddings), we’re pairing this wrap with Leah sunglasses, a basketweave clutch, and a mixed print platform for a fun and unexpected bohemian flair.

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Red Alert:
The Sylvia Wrap Dress

If we had to pick a wrap dress for say, enjoying a desert sunset over cocktails, we’d go with the Sylvia. New for the season, she’s a chic mini wrap that’s oh-so-bold in our giant twirl print with flirty ruffles at the cuffs and hem. Styled with sandy suede heels, a bright white bag and a chain link necklace that evokes well-aged wood, we’re pretty sure the Sylvia would do well on a city girl too, whether it’s date night, girls’ night, or dancing your heart out at a rooftop soirée.

 

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Summer Spotlight:
The Celeste

With its mini length and bold batik print, the Celeste romper is all about the attitude. One of our favorite wrap styles, the Celeste features a collar and button cuffs that contrast its playful hemline. Speaking of contrast, we love to pair the soft, slinky silk jersey with a chunky heel, big shades, and a long crossbody bag that’s perfect for packing light. In our hottest new print, the Celeste is the wrap of the summer.

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