Vera Wang Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection Review — Psychedelic Wonderland

I tell my friends all the time, but it bears repeating. Vera Wang is A GENIUS!!! She is the rarely accessible designer whose aesthetic reaches and appeals to so many, but even with her multi-brand lifestyle empire of bridal, ready-to-wear, bedding, eyewear, fragrance, fine papers, flowers, luggage, footwear, tabletop, and mass market, she always remains true to an inherent aesthetic of relaxed, nonchalant glamour. To most, it would sound like a strange oxymoron, but each season Vera Wang triumphantly reasserts this dichotic direction.


Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, this season construction and texture were the emphasis, with the craftsmanship of couturier details and the addition of psychedelic prints. The presentation’s 40 looks had an ethereal quality incorporating piqued cropped vests, textured gauze pullovers, tulle drawstring bubble skirts, and stretch cotton hooded motorcycle jackets. While the foundation was somewhat athletic with sportier elements in mesh and gauze layers of fencing jackets, oversized hoods, cutout pockets, and drawstring necklines; the silhouette was refined with precise tailoring and detailing in the fluidity of organza trains, eyelet corsets, crisscross collars, and bubble skirts for a glamorous effect.

Viscosity was a key textile element in creating and manipulating the silhouette for the Vera Wang Ready-to-Wear Spring 2012 Runway Presentation. The contrast of diaphanous and textured fabric weights created a lovely tension between the more delicate and molded separates. Taking a departure from staid melancholy shades of black, charcoal, and forest, her palette was certainly not imperceptibly noticed. Referred to in the liner notes as shades of “pale macaroons with more aggressive hem brights,” these lighter shades of pale coupled with the collection’s signature psychedelic pattern—a reworked, melted, and melded Marie Antoinette wallpaper print—gave the  more structured silhouettes a sublime watercolor effect, especially when used in the longer carved hems and drawstring peplum belts. Opening with a series of white  ensembles before shifting to the softer, lighter, brighter color way of yellow, grey, mint, rose, and magenta during the latter half, provided a “counterpart of modernity” within the subtext of this fashion fairy tale.


“To me fashion is about reinvention and it’s about exploring and taking whatever your aesthetic is or your attitude about fashion is, and pushing yourself further. It’s a new way for a woman to feel youthful and fresh and modern, and that’s always been my goal, ‘cause I think I’m eighteen,” beguiled the designer backstage.

Rachel Roy, Beyoncé Knowles, Solange Knowles, Madeleine Albright, Serena Williams, LaLa Anthony (née Vazquez), and Kim Kardashian were all on the front row to lend their support. Vogue Editor-at-Large, Andre Leon Talley said of the collection backstage, “It was FABULOUS… ethereal, quite, quite, special!” Insider Tip: I ALMOST ALWAYS grab an extra showrun (list of runway looks, casting, music, hair, and make-up credits). Backstage at Vera Wang, ALT forgot his showrun in his seat, so I was at the ready with an extra copy for him, both he and the brand’s publicist were grateful—nothing like being in the right place at the right time.


My favorite looks from the Vera Wang Spring 2012 Runway Presentation included: the white pique peplum vest with oversized hood, silk sleeveless top, and skirted short; the white pique striped parachute jacket with double layer peplum, and cotton boy shorts; the white silk chiffon eyelet tiered top with psychedelic printed peplum drawstring belt, and eyelet maxi skirt; the mint textured v-neck drawstring top, crisscross hooded cutaway overlay, and tulle bubble skirt; and the rose pique sleeveless peplum coat with oversized hood and cutout pocket over rose silk chiffon dress. This season Vera Wang invited us to follow her down the sartorial rabbit hole with childlike curiosity, further exploring and discovering that which makes effortless all-at-once sophisticated. I for one am thrilled to go on this psychedelic journey with her and since I’ve never met a peplum that I didn’t like, I can hardly wait for those gorgeous drawstring belts to arrive in the stores next spring!


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