Diane Von Fürstenberg Receives Chevalier De La Legion D’Honneur In Paris by French Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On 28 February 2020, Diane Von Fürstenberg, fashion designer and creator of "the wrap dress" was knighted Chevalier de la Legion D’Honneur in Paris in the grand Napoleon III rooms of Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, in a mid-19th century building located on the quai d’Orsay.
“It’s being given to me for my work and commitment to women as well as my work for the Statue of Liberty, who is a symbol of freedom and friendship between France and America. I am extremely honored for this important recognition ...”Said Diane Von Fürstenberg, upon receiving news of her knighthood from French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
As a fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg has sold 15 million wrap dresses; As a philanthropist, she has raised $100 million for the Statue of Liberty Museum.
Christine Lagarde, the President of the European Central Bank, and the former President of the International Monetary Fund, presented Von Fürstenberg with the prestigious honour. Lagarde compared her to other legendary female designers like Coco Chanel, Madeleine Vionnet, and Sonia Rykiel, who have mastered the art of designing for their times. “Your wrap dress beautifies women’s bodies without either restricting them or burdening them with too much sophistication,” Lagarde said. “The woman clothed by Diane Von Fürstenberg is free in her movement and free to take life in her own hands......A dress can only be truly beautiful if it’s worn with dignity and with elegance, and your support of women’s struggles for independence reflects a generosity that infuses the most perfect and subtle elegance: the elegance of the heart.”
After Christine Lagarde pinned the Legion’s five-point cross and red ribbon to Diane Von Fürstenberg’s sparkling velvet dress, she delivered a moving speech. “I want to salute what the Statue of Liberty represents: freedom and hope. We need to remember it was originally named Liberty Enlightening the World, and god knows we need it......I am accepting this Legion D’Honneur with pride and humility, knowing that recognition and honour give us a voice. And when we have a voice it is our duty and privilege to use that voice for those who have no voice. My heart is filled with gratitude. Merci and vive Paris!”
Francais: Diane von Fürstenberg reçoit la Légion d’Honneur
Diane von Fürstenberg recevait la Légion d’Honneur des mains de la Présidente de la Banque Centrale européenne, Christine Lagarde, à l’occasion d’une cérémonie touchante et tumultueuse au Quai d’Orsay.
Jeff Bezos, Anna Wintour, Christian Louboutin, John Elkann, Lapo Elkann, Delphine Arnault et Antoine Arnault étaient présents.
Dans son discours, Christine Lagarde a loué la carrière unique de DVF : la création de la robe portefeuille, son rôle comme Présidente du CFDA et celui qu’elle joua dans la rénovation de la Statue de la Liberté, à l’origine un cadeau du peuple français aux États-Unis : « Vous avez aussi connu en chemin des moments difficiles, comme il en arrive aux femmes qui ont des responsabilités, mais vous y avez puisé la force de recommencer […] dans un parcours de vie caractérisé par la détermination à continuer, et à maintenir le cap dans les périodes difficiles », a déclaré Christine Lagarde.
« Vous êtes l’une des personnes les plus généreuses de ce drôle de monde de la mode, auquel je ne connais pas grand-chose. Mais, pour soutenir les combats des femmes, l’élégance qui compte le plus, c’est celle du cœur », a-t-elle ajouté.
En réponse, DVF a rappelé à tous pourquoi elle est si célèbre pour sa classe, dès les premiers mots. « L’honneur de recevoir [cette distinction] de [votre] part est aussi grand que l’honneur lui-même », a-t-elle dit, sous les applaudissements.
Passant à un éloge de Paris, en faisant signe vers la fenêtre qui donnait sur la Seine, elle a poursuivi : « Paris est une ville de femmes, une ville d’élégance, une ville où on a envie d’aller au café et dans les librairies, pour y avoir… des aventures secrètes », a-t-elle ajouté sous un tonnerre d’applaudissements.
Tao Porchon-Lynch, who was recognized by Guinness World Records as the “World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher” in 2012, died on 21 Febrary in White Plains, New York, at 101.
"Our beloved TAO passed away this morning, peacefully and without pain. As she would say, she is now dancing her way to the next planet," wrote Joyce Pine, a close friend and student of Porchon-Lynch.
This remarkable woman always liked to say: “There’s nothing that you cannot do.” and she is a living proof of this mantra.
In her early day, she has been model, cabaret performer and Hollywood actress.
When she was almost 50 year old, she gave up acting and became yoga teacher;
At age 87 she took up ballroom dancing and won more than 750 first-place awards as a competitive dancer;
At age 96, she appeared on NBC's “America’s Got Talent,” receiving a standing ovation from the show's judges;
At age 100, she was a brand ambassador for Athleta, the line of women's fitness clothes, and once graced the cover of its catalog;
At age 101, Tao was still teaching yoga class, and she taught her last class on 16 Febrary 2020.
"Wake up each day thinking it's going to be a great day, and it will be." thus said Tao, and now, she would wake up thinking it's going to be a great day in the new planet she has just danced toward to.
An extraordinary woman, an undying soul.
Audrey Hepburn(4 May 1929 – 20 January 1993) was born in Belgium, grew up in Netherlands and England, her first husband was American with some Spanish heritage, her second husband was Italian, she settled in Switzerland and her last companion was Dutch, but she has a very special connection with France, in particular, Paris.
In 1944, the French novelist Colette wroter Gigi, which became very successful and was adapted into a film in France in 1949, and Anita Loos wanted to make it into a Broadway play.
When the wheelchair-bound Colette was being pushed along the Monaco seafront, she spotted a young girl wearing a one-piece black swimsuit outside Hotel de Paris. “Voilà ma Gigi!” That young girl was Audrey Hepburn, who was making the film Monte Carlo Baby in Monaco. She became Colette's Gigi, thus her first conection with France, with Paris.
Then Sabrina, a film in which Audrey Hepburn played the daughter of a chauffeur who worked for a rich Larrabee family in Long Island, and she was hopelessly in love with the second Larrabe son David. Her father decided to send Sabrina to Paris to save her.
Sabrina did not go to Paris in the film, and she made her soufflé in Paramount Pictures studio. But Audrey Hepburn did, and she met Hubert de Givenchy, in Paris, who made all of Sabrina's post-Paris wadrobe.
Three years later in Funny Face, when Audrey played Jo, a passionate intectual working in a bookstore in Paris, it was Givenchy again who designed her Parisian outfits after her extraordinary transformation to a breathtakingly beautiful mode making fashion shoot with Fred Astaire in front of Arc de Triomph and inside the Louvre.
Audrey Hepburn went back to Paris in 1963 with Cary Grant in Charade, a comic thriller, where she followed Cary Grant on Rue Monge and Rue Censier, dropped vanilla chocolate ice cream on his navy blue suit near the pont de l’Archevêché and kissed him on a riverboat on the Seine, and finally accepted his marriage proposal at Palais Royal.
A year later, Audrey Hepburn was in Paris again carrying another new Gienchy wardrobe and a bird cage to try to make it sizzle with William Holden. But it seems William Holden's problem on screen - a Hollywood writer's block was just a mirror of his problems off screen - his alcholism which affected the production so much that the movie title may as well be named Paris when will it sizzle instead of its original title: Paris when it sizzles.
Fortunately, the legendary director William Wyler decided to invite Audrey Hepburn to Paris again in 1963, making her the daughter of an art collector and forger so Peter O'toole can investigate her father and fall in love with her in How to steal a Million.
In this film, Audrey Hepburn incarnated a picturesque Parisian girl living la vie en rose wearing Givenchy dresses and coats, driving red Eden Roc, living in a big house in Neuilly-sur-Seine with her father, and rendezvousing in Ritz hotel...
It could be said that How to steal a Million is a film showcasing Audrey's love affair with Paris, and it would be her last film made in and about Paris.