The Wrap DressAfter the Little Black Dress, perhaps the next best fashion invention is the Wrap Dress, made iconic by designer Diane Von Furstenberg. Recently, at the Women in the World summit in New York City, Furstenberg reflected on how the creation of the Wrap Dress not only transformed women’s wear but also served as a catalyst in her own life: “That little dress made me independent.  That little dress allowed me to be the woman I wanted to be.” She also told Vogue earlier this year, “You launch something and it has a life of its own, independent of me . . . I mean this dress is in sociology class!”

Life of its own indeed. Furstenberg was her own model for the dress in her first ad for Women’s Wear Daily (pictured left). When she wasn’t moved by the empty white cube in the image, she wrote on it with a blue pen, “Feel like a woman, wear a dress!” A movement was birthed.

Created in 1974, the Wrap Dress came to symbolize power and independence for an entire generation of women. By 1976, Furstenberg had sold over a million of the dresses. The invention landed her on the cover of Newsweek. In 2012, Furstenberg was named the most powerful woman in fashion by Forbes Magazine.

Serendipitously, the Wrap Dress turns 40 this year—fitting perfectly with Women’s Voices’ mission of redefining life after 40. To mark the milestone, the exhibition Wrap 40: the Journey of a Dress is currently on view in Los Angeles.

Since 1974, the Wrap Dress, like many of us, has seen many reinventions and redefining moments. To honor the Wrap Dress at 40, here are some of our favorite picks for spring (fully equipped with color, sleeves, and knee-length hems) from Diane von Furstenberg’s current line, found at www.dvf.com/dresses/wrap-dresses/.

 greenJeanne Two Wrap Dress, a modern take on the timeless classic.

blue dressJulian Two Silk Jersey wrap dress in ikat batik.

redJulian Two Silk Jersey wrap dress ink leopard simple pink.

blue2Julian Two Silk Jersey Wrap Dress in modern harlequin placement.

blue3Julian Two Jersey Wrap Dress in blue diamond

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