Vera Wang Gets Heavy

A winning evening dress sparkles in paillettes. Photo: Imaxtree

Vera Wang's ready-to-wear collection is, unlike her bridal and red-carpet pieces, intensely personal. Wang has spent her entire adult life obsessed with fashion, and these are the clothes she wants to make because she dreamed them. And that's it. The result has typically been the most poetic, romantic, and frequently the most beautiful of the American collections, a biannual phantasmagoria of unbelievably pretty fabrics and colors put quirkily together in a series of surprising layers and silhouette-pushing combinations.

Today's collection was not Wang's strongest: Her typically light hand was somehow heavy. Fabric appliqués were bulky, and a yellow brocade that ran through the collection was harsh. The collection was inspired by the Dutch painter Kess van Dongen, but his colors are far more appealing on canvas than on clothes, where they came off as dark and sometimes dour.

Taken apart, there are great pieces, particularly a short and short-sleeved broadtail jacket put cleverly atop a navy coat. The sheer, layered evening dresses were also worth noting, particularly one covered in this season's answer to after-dark, shiny silver paillettes.
Amy Larocca

Browse a slideshow of the Vera Wang collection.
Watch a video of the Vera Wang collection.