Vera Wang returns, with hippie hair and couture lingerie


The Vera Wang collection is modeled during Fashion Week, in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

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NEW YORK (AP) — After a two-year break, Vera Wang returned to the New York Fashion Week runway on Tuesday with a moody and visually arresting show that featured high-couture lingerie elements, hippie hair, and heels so spiky that some models struggled to stay on their feet.

Camisoles. Bustiers. Garters. Corsets. All of these were on full display in a show that took place in a dark room punctuated by dramatic columns of white light. The show was titled: “Seduction. Layering to Reveal. Done and Undone.”

Colors were mainly black, gray, white and metallic — but, typically of Wang, mostly black. Charmeuse, silk, lace and tulle were in abundance.

“California Dreamin'” was on the soundtrack, and that’s what was on Wang’s mind, too, she said, as she developed her collection, though to others there was a distinct Victorian feel as well.

“It was a California dream, yeah, sexy, underwear, layering, things falling off,” she said in an interview backstage. “Also, girls falling off their shoes,” she quipped of some models’ mishaps involving impossibly long skirts and spiky high heels. “That I didn’t plan on, but it happened.”

Realizing her vision “was wonderful because it was very much the mood I was in,” Wang said. “You know as a designer you feel what’s going on around you, at least I do, culturally. It isn’t just an isolated exercise. So I really wanted that hippie hair and LA attitude, but the clothes were definitely couture.”

For the last two years, Wang had presented her collections via films but decided to return to a staged show this season.

“Film is very different than staging 45 girls, and fittings,” she noted, adding that “the level of clothing that we make and show is very couture. It’s not meant to be contemporary or ready-to-wear, it’s really about the craft of creating, incredible workmanship.”

She credited her team: “No matter what I dream, if they can’t sew it, it’s not real,” she said.

Also not real, hopefully? That clump of hair Wang scooped up from the floor as she came out for her bow, to applause from guests that included Zendaya and Vanessa Hudgens.

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