Alternative fuel? Fashion knows all about it, but forget solar, wind and geothermal. We’re talking accessories. They’ve been fueling the business for some time, and houses show no signs of cutting back. Those delectable items once quaintly thought of as extras have been all over the New York runways this week, nowhere more beautifully or demonstratively handled than at Vera Wang.
But to digress for a moment — the clothes. Wang’s played like a gentle dream in a collection she said was inspired by artist Niki de Saint Phalle. The designer’s highly specific, artsy-intellectual take on fashion is not an easy one to push forward, yet so far, she has managed to tweak with distinction each season. Here, a savvy pared-down feeling — a pleated tunic over scrunched leggings, a “basketball dress” with center panel inserted on a curve; a vaguely Sixties geometric tunic and shift — provided counterpoint to expressions of Wang’s more decorative tendencies, revealed in diaphanous layerings, mosaic embroideries and huge hand-painted lilies of the valley, a winning conceit that swung both fanciful and moody.
But simple served another purpose, as canvas for Wang’s spectacular jewelry and notice-me handbags. Her favorite megabaubles: thick colored crystal motorcycle chains for necklaces, belts and bracelets visible from a mile down the road. She also showed elaborate cameo creations by Janis Savitt. As for the bags, Wang gussied-up the proper granny purse, at times hand-painting or fixing it with vintage rosette fastenings. Either way, they just might make for a tiger in her tank.