Vera Wang is fearless. She refuses to cave when it comes to expressing her vision that seldom works the most commercial side of the fashion street. “I still do believe there is room for an artistic vision, and craft,” Wang said during a preview. “Nothing has truly never been done [before], but whatever you bring to it, what time you do it, is your statement.” When a guest noted the moodiness of a series of dark florals, Wang said, “I’m known for moody.”
At the same time, she is a businesswoman who wants to sell clothes. Sexy sells, and she’s pushing herself to do sexy without selling out. Thus, no mermaids here. Rather, for fall, Wang crossed her artful inclinations with the tropes of fencing, creating an intensely sensual attitude with a hint of the perverse. It both compelled and challenged.
Along the way, Wang worked both aggressive and gentle elements, as well as weight and transparency. A key item: the plastron, integrated into a linear silhouette, exaggerated with monster platform sandals (thick and high), and worn with spats of varying height. The long line was inspired by Giacometti — at least that was the sound-bite spiel. Really, the compelling silhouette came, she said, “in reaction to seeing a lot of minis and a lot of more obvious silhouettes.”
Nothing obvious here. Wang paired the protective fencing plastron to floor-sweeping, open-to-there kilts, shown by day over shirts and by night, over bare skin, the shield’s leather straps taking a tough turn with sexy. The palette, sober shades of olive, dark gold and khaki, in addition to black, harkened to another artful source: Modigliani.
The intentional heft of materials that appeared first in the wool kilts found alternative expression in thick, multicolored furs, including a pair of long vests worn as dresses. Wang then pulled a provocative 180 on the texture front while maintaining the darkly evocative mood. The aforementioned florals blossomed as long, light-as-air robes over lighter chiffon aprons and trousers, while see-through tulle dresses in blocks of somber shades worked the Goth side of sheer over microscopic black wool bras. On the more heavenly front: whisper-delicate nude tulle gowns with panels of geometric sequined embroidery. Both were exquisite and, assuming proper underpinnings in place, cried out for Oscar attention.