Thursday, February 17, 2011

Vera Wang Fall2011

Driving up Sixth Avenue last night I passed the gargantuan windows of David's Bridals, the emporium for all things (cut-rate) matrimonial, and saw a group of impressive gowns and life sized posters of Vera Wang. It appears she has yet another new license making her sought after wedding gowns for the masses. They looked really very good and I commented to my companion that I can't understand the disconnect between the chicness of her bridal with the labored, monotony of her collection. There was a day when her clothes were some of the most sought after in Saks, Barneys, Neiman's, you name it. The dresses and gowns were so chic, so cool, so glamorous. Hollywood was in a swoon over her and her work. Then she started to reference her closet and her fascination with all things deconstructed got the better of her. Holly Hunt was the last girl standing off to the side of fewer and fewer red carpets until there were almost no sightings at all. I've wondered why she squandered such a key position to make clothes that have lost their power, their focus, their way.

This season her collection which is all pleats, the same body long, short, sleeved or not, and almost all under a ubiquitous parka in shades that run the gamut from A to B. Vera's inspiration are influential great ladies of the 30's, namely Wallis Simpson, Thelma Furness and Emerald Cunard. Other than a few pleated chemise dresses with drop waists and the lines of tea dresses from the teens and twenties, I found little connection to these adventuresses of a bygone era. Emerald was an inveterate social climber and party throwing confidant of English cafe society. The other two were arrivistes who busied themselves wrecking homes and toppling monarchies. Unless Ms. Wang is rewriting history like Madonna is with her film project on the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, there's not much visible connection between a parka covered chiffon slip and the uptight Mainbocher wardrobe of the real Wallis at that time. There were some great shoes on her runway along with a fantastic shade of inky grey in a couple of looks but that wasn't enough to break up the monotony of a show whose clothes struck one sustained note.

7 comments:

jgold said...

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Anonymous said...

It is no longer about fashion. It's just plain commerce , it's not cars or appliances, it's dresses; we talk about fashion as if there was still an art sense in it, a purpose, there is none anymore. Dollar signs only. In the middle of this mess we still find things to love, a sleeve, a color, but the super explosion of commerce in fashion, this manufacturing madness for dying economies, makes me want to wear what I collected over the years when fashion was an art, a way out, a door to somewhere else... It is no more...

Edwina@FASHION+ART said...

I've seen some of her bridal gowns for David's and thought they were beautiful. Of course. That's her niche. But there's probably some backstage drama going on that we're not privy to. Isn't that usually the case when there's such a disconnect?
In the meantime, don't you just hate it when they try to rewrite history?

joanshearer said...

Poor Vera Wang...just like Donna Karan, she's gotten away from what she does best because of media/market pressures. I've been looking at her "conceptual" collections for years now wondering what she was/is trying to accomplish? It's not like this look is new or rarely done. I guess she doesn't want to be considered "boring" or something in the days of flash and mass. It's a pity because there are fewer and fewer designers that make clothes which actually look good on women these days.

The media environment has caused some of these designers to go into areas best left alone, IMHO. Vera and Donna are two prime examples of this.

brooksie

BTW Fluff I read you most recent review of Rodarte. I got a chuckle or two, needless to say! ;)

Spirou said...

Fluff, did you read the Chloe Malle article in NYT on Restoin Roitfeld gallery opening ? Entitled "Soho gallery opening, black of course."I nearly died laughing...
Miss. Malle is of course the daughter of Candice Bergen and Louis Malle. What a cosy little familly we all are at the NYT. !

Anonymous said...

Just a thought: but it must be terribly hard to create sensational clothes, and regularly. Plus, after a certain age, nothing seems fresh, and this is not limited to fashion. Every look refers to something from a familiar past. Music, fashions, books, become monuments to tedium. Sounds if we're overdue for true genius to wake us from our doldrums.

Anonymous said...

Actually i consider Vera Wang very lucky , she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth , and access to the best of everything . But working last minute , doing everything as someone else namely "Marni" for a while , does not make a collection . If you get your mind right you can do right /// Any way they will reap praise on her , cause the system is fixed.