Review of Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped

Much has been written about Diane von Furstenberg’s fairytale life–she is a princess and millionaire businesswoman who conquered New York, partied at Studio 54, took famous lovers, and was the subject of Andy Warhol portraits. In her new biography, Gioia Diliberto manages to dig into the parts of DVF’s career we’ve forgotten: ill-fated forays into fragrance, licensing deals at JcPenney and the Home Shopping Network. After a royal marriage that gave her the now-famous name, her love life has taken many unconventional turns as well. DVF seems to breeze blithely past setbacks, using what she has to start over again, and perhaps this is what makes her story so fascinating.

The iconic wrap dress is popular again after more than 40 years, having sold (according to legend) 25,000 copies per week in its 1970s heyday. It was the subject of a 2014 exhibition in Los Angeles called “Journey of a Dress.” Diliberto and DVF herself agree that its appeal lies in its ease and simplicity: one flattering piece that travels well and slips on and off easily, suiting the sexy, modern woman on the go. Like Chanel’s Little Black Dress or Dior’s New Look, it’s a stellar example of fashion fitting the zeitgeist.

My verdict (all LJ reviews end with a verdict): “A roller coaster of a life full of love and work, told as a juicy tale, will be of interest to DVF fans, fashion historians, and aspiring designers alike.”

You can read the full review online at Library Journal’s website.

Text and Data Mining Webinar for CRL

TDMforCRL

On July 29, Peter Leonard and I presented the webinar “Text and Data Mining in the Humanities and Social Sciences: Strategies and Tools” as part of the Center for Research Libraries‘ ongoing series on text and data mining. We had over 175 virtual attendees from a variety of institutions and fielded a number of excellent questions, many too complicated to answer via live chat or in the short Q&A sections (CRL added some of the chat questions into the video). It was great to see such interest in the topic. The range of questions provided a good reminder that we are still in the early days of establishing standards and practices for TDM, especially related to copyright and fair use. The CRL website has more information on the webinar, including our slides.