Feb 16, 2011

Vera 'layer' Wang Fall 2011@NYFW - a chiffon dream 

By Emily Holt

It’s becoming clear that in six or eight months (if not sooner), women will be going out in lightweight, breezy fabrics underneath heavy, hardcore parkas. It’s a lovely way to dress, really. There’s something elevating about wearing such fragile clothes in such debilitating weather. And if those delicate pieces are Vera Wang, all the better.

The dresses (and yes, it was mostly dresses) that the designer showed Tuesday were beautifully fluid. They were mostly sheer and mostly pleated, which gave them that 1930s romance Wang was going for. But the racer-backs (if there were backs at all-backless: another trend) kept the dresses current, almost sporty. Okay, sporty may be a stretch, but it was a fun, unexpected touch. And the parkas worn over all these dresses were great for being all of the opposite: heavy, functional, highly layered, and lined in fur.

What was less fun about this collection was the varying shades of gray that kept coming down the runway. Only eight of the 36 looks carried some pigment, and when they did, they were still rather dark. The white dresses were lovely, and everyone knows that Wang is good with black, but she knows her way around a deep jewel tone as well, and even brights. The sun-gold dress Wang made for Michelle Williams for the Oscars was hanging in the atelier, presumably for inspiration. We would have loved to have seen Wang play with that kind of saturated color in addition to the pretty pleats.

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