Who doesn’t love a little dark romance, especially when it’s a tale delivered via a lineup of fabulous clothes? On Tuesday morning, Vera Wang went moody-broody to beautiful effect. And savvy, too, as this collection was the most obviously practical she’s ever done, packed with smart, wearable pieces filtered through the artful lens she loves.

To that end, all was subdued and often plaid, and if the grown-up grunge vibe swung a little Dries, Wang made it her own.


“I was thinking dark romantic but with a kind of strength to the sensuality,” Wang said after her show.


“There’s always a bit of the tomboy. I wanted a very deliberate mix.”

Mix she did. Her opening centered on the plaid, a large-scale tartan that turned oddly sober in the collection’s dominant colors, charcoal and black. The pattern came on dresses, skirts, Bermudas, a robe integrated variously with other pieces layer-upon-layer, texture-upon-texture, mannish tailoring mixed with witchy flou and sometimes accessories with a big, sparkling bug brooch. Combinations ranged from utterly simple — big argyle sweater over plaid skirt — to more ethereal pilings such as a tweed coat over a sheer tartan robe and satin pajama pants. The transparency and movement created an aura of provocateur while the underlying functionality of the pieces will transition easily to the more mundane task of dressing for everyday life.

Evening proved more complicated. Gowns with various tulle, lace and fringed adornments built on layers of transparency played naughty peekaboo with the body. As shown, most were runway only. But add a slip and they could deliver a dose of glorious Goth glamour come Oscar night.

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