In true fashion-editor form, the biggest compliment Wang can give is “modern.” What’s not modern to Vera Wang is anything predictable: A bias-cut skirt, then, is not modern. Expected color combinations are not modern—Wang is becoming known for her colors: rich emerald green, soft mustard yellow, the perfect periwinkle. Today she has fallen hard for a lavender Brunschwig & Fils taffeta that is $200 a yard and, truly, far more beautiful than the other taffetas that had previously seemed perfectly good.
As Jacques cinches the fabric of a silk blouse at Luca’s waist, Wang announces that anything that “goes in and out,” anything that’s “va-va-voom,” is not modern because “it’s not how I dress.” The Wang silhouette is long and lean, with skirts that hit in the middle of the calf and narrow trousers. There is a great deal of interest in silhouette—a nod to her bridal training. Wang shows full taffeta skirts with balloon hems, cocoons the shoulders of a cocktail dress, and cuts heavy wools close to the body for envelope coats.
Her teenage daughters are her current muses. She loves, she says, to “put together looks” with them, to teach them the value of a good Miu Miu duffle coat, but also how to mix it all up. “I love the way they dress,” she says. “So modern.”
“I'm very much a feminist,” Wang says one day, cruising along in the backseat of her giant van, discussing her daughters, one of whom might like to be an actress. “I think that any profession that makes you feel old by the time you’re 21 is very negative. You’ve got to start off with something you at least stand half a chance of doing.”
Husband though she has, Wang is still a fashion nun. She can’t help herself. But, finally, she’s a happy one.