Friday, September 17, 2010

Asian fusion

So I haven't seen Tarantino's "Kill Bill", but I will never forget when the Tower Hill lunch ladies told me how much I resembled Gogo Yubari, the baby-faced little killer in plaid mini. So. Asian. That aside, I find it striking how many comparisons have been drawn over the past week between the cult film and Vera Wang's Spring 2011 line. Though Wang is Chinese, I've never once noticed an overtly cultural vibe in her pieces. It seems this collection gives a nod to her heritage in ways nobody would ever imagine. Instead of channeling the more-expected 1940's-era Hollywood glamour à la vintage Shanghai ad models (think Westernized cheongsams, immaculate finger curls for the glossiest of black hair, and blood-red matte lipstick), Wang opted for the path less traveled, highlighting ethnic pieces like "Obi belts, Chinese wrap peasant pants, kimono blouses [and] Geisha gal dresses"... interesting to say the least. And I don't mean this in a good way. I mean this in a great way.


Referring to her program notes, this "fusion of East meets West" allowed Wang to play up the drama while maintaining her signature ever-so-romantic style. Besides the occasional citrus tones of silky tangerine and butterscotch, the pieces were rather dark for a spring collection. How could the immensely talented woman responsible for designing some of the world's most elegant bridal pieces also be the creative genius behind these avant-garde looks just bursting with attitude? Now as cliché and blissfully ignorant as this sounds (honestly, this is something a true WP-trying-not-to-be-a-WP would say), I could fully sense an alignment between her use of shiny floral-printed satins and the costumes I envision when reading Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. The same goes for the drapey silk top paired with that iconic red skirt. Brilliant, and pushing the boundaries for anything and everything that would be expected from her.

The light falls just perfectly on the interplay of fabrics Wang chose to combine throughout the show-- a palette comprised of silks, satins and sheers. I'm a huge fan of the models' voluminous, airy hairstyles comparable to the mod beehives of the sixties. Love it. In short, Vera Wang proved her ability to add yet another dimension to her design experience already bursting at the seams (seriously, no pun intended): a master of channeling and executing inspiration to create a truly successful finished product and final presentation.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

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