New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Vera Wang

Of all the shows at fashion week, I found Vera Wang‘s to be the most artistic, connecting all elements involved in the production in a unique conceptual way. From the dramatic set, to the music, to the collection, it felt united in a single creative vision.

The title of Wang’s show was Vis-à-gris – an expression of opposites, united in the middle – black and white, structure and flow, resulting in the middle ground of gray. This is a gray of both industrial sharpness and strength as well as the softness of a dove.

Playing off the futuristic architectonic set, the outerwear represented the structure of the vision and the extensive use of chiffon the flow. Here, in warmer shade of nude, a beautiful melton sleeveless wool coat with boucle collar was paired with a vest, chiffon tank and melton bermuda shorts.

I adore this oversized parka with boucle lining and detachable hood. The silk chiffon top is not for me and before we continue, I should clarify that this is not a collection for the faint of heart. In fact, much in the collection is in my mind not particularly wearable, but there is no question that it is beautiful. Watching this perfectly orchestrated show was like seeing the intersection of fashion and art.

There were certainly covetable pieces such as this sleeveless cape but quite a few of the looks seemed more artistic expression than practical offering. In fact I felt that it was a bit like the Brave New World of fashion, forecasting a beautiful ethereal future or the wardrobe for a film where Tilda Swinton has graduated from Raf Simmons’ exquisite yet conventional wardrobe for an Italian matriarch to this collection, inspiration for some doyenne of beauty in a society years from now.

Here we see the contrast in both lines and texture between the rigidly constructed cape and the silk chiffon dress.

Wang added flashes of color, primarily orange, into some of her long sensual silhouettes. Her opening statement proclaimed clothing as sanctuary, the body “protectively enveloped” by either the structure of the jackets and coats or partially revealing the female form through a veiled transparency.

This beautiful dark green vault jacquard dress with its architectonic pattern has a detachable raccoon hood.

Several other outerwear pieces featured fur accents, softening the structure of the jackets and vests.

For the dresses and gowns, Wang added an incredible shade of Dutch blue, mixing chiffon and organza to beautiful effect underneath crystal mesh bibs, like a layer of armor.

Wang gave a nod to the peplum trend here with a zip-front version over the front column of crystal embroidery.

The final outfit in the show transformed the crystal mesh into a racerback tank, layered over a sheath of chiffon.

Wang has spent most of her career designing dresses women love to wear. I see the commercial success of this collection in the coats, jackets and vests. While many devotees will appreciate her artistic sensibilities showcased here, I am thinking the collection might include some more versatile under pieces when it actually hits the stores. But coming down the runway, her vision was a dream.

All Photos except first: Marcio Madeira/firstVIEW

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