Vera did Vegas. And schoolgirl. Major crystal action. And active underwear. A “Belle de Jour” duality, she called it. “Only not literally Sixties, Catherine Deneuve, Saint Laurent. Although there is tailoring.”
Sound crazy? It was — and amen to that. (Speaking of amen, her soundtrack included a glorious rendition of the Advent hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Because Vegas loves a return engagement?)
Back to Wang. She does something extraordinary: She dares to do the things she loves even when they’re decidedly in a vein other than commercial. Backstage before her show she explained the film reference as the sense of “a girl who’s extremely controlling and buttoned-up, but in another life or fantasy life she becomes something else.”
That something else made for the collection’s boldest duality as Wang, never a purveyor of sexy dressing — at least not in any traditional sense — here delivered a collection that was sexually charged and even a bit twisted.
Her buttoned-up girl worked trappings of titillation — a black scrim of a shirt all the more provocative over a white sports bra and schoolgirl pleats; a bright red trapeze dress cut for torso exposure; a trouser skirt reimagined in see-through organza and feathers. Amply cut, high-function bras and briefs bore major Swarovski encrustations; a tuxedo coat looked classic in front but had no back. As for the Vegas connection – gold and silver paillette dresses spangled up a storm.
Along the way, Wang’s lineup boasted beautiful tailored pieces, shirts, knitwear and skirts, many with likely hanger appeal. To invoke cliché, this was one of those “broken down (or in the case of a shirt with no skirt or pants, added to), it’s wearable,” collections. What’s not overtly commercial is Wang’s point of view. Hers is a genuinely arty vision, one not devoid of pragmatism — she was way ahead of the ath-leisure curve in contemplating how to design high-end merch for casual lifestyles — yet quietly uncompromising. Adherence to her creative vision is both her strength and her challenge.