Vera Wang's evolution over the past several seasons into a full-fledged creator with an elegantly specific aesthetic has been a pleasure to watch. And this spring's collection, full of lovely, artsy dresses and skirts, finely detailed and delicately luxurious, clinches the transition.
Even though she's a red-carpet mainstaywitness Jennifer Connelly and Holly Hunter in her front rowWang is not, and never will be, about flash and flesh. Her sex appeal comes from the sensuousness inherent in her materialslimpid crepe de chine, georgette, and charmeuse, muted gold lamé, brocade, fuzzy cashmere, and tissue-thin knitsand her slim, caressing cuts.
Wang had but one pair of pants in her collection; the rest was all narrow, fluid dresses and skirts cut every which way, from a slim, businesslike pencil to an organza delight, embroidered with gold peacock feathers and light as a dandelion. She paired these with crisp, blue or white cotton men's shirting fabrics, simple sweaters, and slightly retro prints to keep it all from getting too precious. Her color sense, too, kept the clothes resolutely modern: ivory, navy, brown, black, and taupe, with bits of color dropped in as if by a watercolor artist. A crimson tank top, a pistachio blouse, a dusty-rose gown, all floated down the runway against a subdued soundtrack that sounded like distant bells. Controlled scatterings of sequins and beads were a subtle reminder of her bridal brilliancebut luckily, Wang's strengths now reach way past the aisle, right into everyday life.