IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Vera Wang's runway show mirrors opposites

Vera Wang said she was striking for a balanced fall collection — one that perfectly married light and dark, softness and structure, color and black. What she got was beautiful.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Wang's fall line hit the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Thursday morning, just about the time stylists, editors and retailers were growing weary after six full days of fashion shows and another two days to go. But the buzz backstage from editors at Glamour and Marie Claire and executives from Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus was that Wang's show revitalized them.

"You did it again," said Saks' fashion director Michael Fink as he congratulated Wang.

With her background in art history, Wang again found inspiration in a painter, Dutch artist Kees van Dongen who specialized in portraits of society women in the 1920s and 30s, for this collection. She borrowed from him her palette, which featured black, navy, rust, purple and bits of yellow.

Wang's clothes often have an avant-garde edge, which make some pieces not for the everywoman. But that doesn't mean they're not lovely to look at. A floral metallic "tent dress" in a Japanese techno tapestry fabric that stood away from the body and had an off-kilter neckline was a prime example of a gown that could be appreciated as art.

Same goes for a series of pompadour minidresses that had a fitted bodice and then puffed out into a bubble over the hips.

A navy-satin, bias-cut gown with a gathered front and an organza bow at the hip also was a little askew but was far more wearable. It would be a gown for a very fashion-forward star to wear on a red carpet somewhere.

Other stunners were navy quilted coat with a taupe-colored jabot that ran all the way down the side worn over a plum-colored chiffon skirt, and a tank top with delicate chain fringe, skinny black pants topped with a quilted, fur-trimmed bed jacket — matching the bed-head hairstyle of the models.

Wang described the overall theme as "almost imbalanced balance." It matches her life, she said with a laugh. "I came back from New Year's Eve with only 20 work days to get the collection ready and my girls were worrying about SAT tests."