Vera Wang RTW Spring 2021
Some things are worth waiting for — even a really late collection. Four months into the never-ending spring 2021 season that’s now barreling into pre-fall, Vera Wang showed a gem (or that’s how it looks in pictures; she didn’t do in-person appointments).
In an odd-duck/exquisite swan of a collection, Wang started with an ambitious premise, fusing ready-to-wear and bridal elements into a single, compelling narrative. Rtw-cum-bridal may not seem like a big whoop; designers have long incorporated a languid white crepe gown or saucy, flirty shift into their lineups, handed the model a nosegay and — voila! — here comes the bride. But such lovely commercialism isn’t Wang’s shtick, even if she bristles at suggestions that she’s not a commercial designer. “Kohl’s! Kohl’s! Kohl’s!” she’ll readily remind.
Point taken, but a different discussion. Wang views her runway (and now, her runway alternative) as more than a venue for parading variants on the pretty tried-and-true. She sees it as an experimental platform on which to challenge herself to do something new.
For Wang, it makes all the sense in the world that at some point, she would attempt an integration of the foundations of her work into a single, strong message. In fact, she’d long considered the notion, but the time never seemed right. While COVID-19 has presented endless challenges, working under lockdown restrictions gave her the freedom to go for it. “I didn’t have to go to a full bridal market,” she said, “and I didn’t have a full ready-to-market and show. It was kind of this free, nebulous thing that I felt.”
At the same time, the only type of presentation that felt appropriate was a low-key shoot. “I never think fashion is ridiculous, I never, ever think that,” Wang said. “But you have to be a bit aware of what’s going on in the rest of the world. I wanted to find my way, and this seemed like the perfect moment in terms of intimacy and expectation.”
Her mission was creative and strategic. “Often people see no connection between the two, and I thought, maybe it’s time to bring it together so that people see that it’s the same girl. She can be a tomboy and she can be extremely artsy. One doesn’t preclude the other.”
Therein lies the collection’s wonder — not to mention Wang’s distinct place in American fashion. She is unafraid to work artfully outside the lines, her meanderings leading to all sorts of places — romantic, dark, ethereal, edgy — always with a high-interest take on chic.
If there’s such a thing as voluptuous austerity, here Wang nailed it. She delivers an almost weird aura of restraint that’s not about the look of the clothes; there’s abundant extravagance in play. She started with the neutral palette she loves — black, white, gray, skin tones — adding in some red and blue in the unfussy florals she inaugurated for fall. While the masculine-feminine tension features most familiarly in a red floral frock coat over a tulle ball skirt, elsewhere she works it to a more challenging effect, the haute-sporty communion compelling in its dichotomy.
For example, one accent piece, a high-fashion “bubble accessory” — a big ring of ruched fabric — turns up in black tulle over a blue floral jacket and super short skirt, and in puffed-up black gazar over lean trousers with external tulle pockets.
The look book opens with two models standing face-to-face. They could be mirror images, only one wears a long, deftly gathered stretch of white chiffon over a bodysuit, and the other, a gown with a voluptuous cutaway skirt and seamless bustier bodice. Wang then quickly introduces the rtw element, in black wool shorts worn with an opera coat of sorts in white faille with dramatic bow sleeves that morph into a train. Precise white jackets are cut strapless or open in back, also over short black pieces. To one, she adds a tulle half-skirt in back. Throughout, tulle flourishes flirt with strict tailoring and black wool bodices while abundant, couture-esque sleeve treatments similarly counter the spare, sporty pieces beneath.
Yet it’s not all about separates. There are plenty of gowns, both full and linear. And one of the collection’s wonders is a little-nothing, really-something minidress made from hand-knotted glass pearls looping this way and that under an overlay of tulle.
Captivating — and not the stuff of Zoom fittings and sew-at-home, so Wang’s delayed time frame is understandable. As noted, some things are worth waiting for.
Vera Wang has long been dubbed the doyenne of the bridal industry—and for good reason. Even in a pandemic, she's managed to dress multiple celebrity brides, from Ariana Grande to Gwen Stefani to Issa Rae. That was in addition to her red carpet hits, like Andra Day's jaw-dropping gold number at the Oscars and Amanda Gorman and Emily Ratajkowski's gowns at this week's Met Gala. After 30+ years in the business, Wang seems to have no plans of slowing down. Announcing a rebrand of her namesake label—Vera Wang Bride—in collaboration with bridal juggernaut Pronovias this past April was case in point. The iconic designer gave BAZAAR Bride an exclusive look at the collection, which debuts today.
Given that Wang’s in-house bridal collection was previously named Vera Wang Bride, this new partnership with Pronovias will usher in changes for the collection she designs seasonally in her New York City atelier. Moving forward, her 12-to-15 gown collections created per season will not necessarily abide by the standard fashion calendar and will be even more "couture light" than ever before. With that hand-craftsmanship in mind, she plans to rebrand the highest end of her brand as Vera Wang Haute. "It will be 'higher.' It's something we're continuously striving for," she explains.
While this debut collection with Pronovias sits at a more accessible price point than her newly-minted Haute, Wang approached its design as she does all her work. "Whatever pricepoint I am working at, it's important to us that the same attention is paid...the same sense of responsibility, devotion, dedication, and effort. I do know quality; and I think it's important that whatever someone buys with my name on it, it's our best; whether it's crystal goblets, eye frames, ready-to-wear, or bridal. It's not just about relevance and cool, it's about trust between product and client."
That trust is built by not skirting the work it takes to innovate; each collection begins with sources of inspiration, be it the transparency and sex appeal of black and nude lingerie or cherry blossom season in Japan, rather than simply what a sales team considers passable for the bride, a client the industry too often deems reluctant to take style risks. This collection tapped into the brand's archives for inspiration, using techniques honed over three decades in weddings. Expect lots of layering, transparency, exaggerated proportions, and a focus on fit.
"With this collection, we're able to walk the fine line between being commercial, which you don't want to be a dirty word, and being creative," Wang says. "It's about an exploration of silhouettes that are not necessarily expected. When you look at the proportions of the skirts, the cuts, and the details, it's the DNA of our brand...it's everything that we've done for ages, but with a lot of value." The collection will show once a year, consisting of 60+ looks, edited down from almost 100—and that's just bridal gowns. The line will also include eveningwear looks for attendants and guests as well.
This new endeavor, which Wang calls "a new bridal business," will allow her to expand her reach, presenting a variety of styles and distributing internationally on a larger scale than ever before. The collection will be available in Pronovias stores and select wholesalers worldwide starting this month and will range in price from $1,600 to $4,000.
In discussing weddings that will take place post-lockdown and the temperature of the current fashion customer, Wang feels that there is a new appetite and energy among brides worldwide for something a bit more fashion-forward as women emerge from staying at home and look forward to getting dressed up again. "There is a new reality where consumers are in the mood for some more elaborate, edgy, and intellectual work," she says. "Bridal is a part of fashion; it's not just an offshoot of formal dressing."
As Vera Wang Bride picks up speed, expect Vera Wang Haute to become that much more daring, seductive, and risk-taking, reserved for brides looking to invest in gowns that are that much more conceptual for the aisle—concepts that down the line will pop up in nuanced, smaller doses in this new range with Pronovias. "This new brand is about our codes and our vocabulary—but global in a way we've never been able to be."
Carrie GoldbergWeddings & Travel DirectorCarrie Goldberg is HarpersBAZAAR.com’s Weddings & Travel Director.
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Vera Wang revolutionized the bridal market by approaching it with a fashion editor’s eye. Thirty years later she’s still pushing boundaries; for spring 2021 she is presenting her ready-to-wear and bridal together: Call it Vera².
Wang said she’d been thinking about uniting her two worlds for awhile. But the unusual circumstances of the pandemic convinced her to take the unconventional approach. It also provided the designer with the opportunity to keep staff employed, and show off the many techniques her ateliers and factories are capable of: tailoring and flou as well as artful embellishments. “We’re one of the lucky companies that can really have a level of sewing that is comparable to Paris,” noted Wang, “and I say that with full confidence because it’s been 32 years and we have trained insane sewers that are irreplaceable.”
Not only were the collections made in-house, but the designer stayed close to home with the inspiration as well. In place of medieval flourishes and behatted handmaids were references to Wang’s own wardrobe. The designer describes her ready-to-wear as generally being more “reflective of who I am and how I like to mix things up and down and, you know, different proportions and different layering and T-shirts with everything.” The collection’s bodysuits and leggings, for example, can be traced back to Wang’s childhood training in ballet and figure skating. For spring, the presence of “boyish sporty separates” keeps the romantic pieces from becoming saccharine.
One of Wang’s achievements is to have taken the stuffing out of formal wear, and there’s a very bearable lightness of being to this collection—with the exception, perhaps, of the more rooted floral prints. “Because I didn’t know anything about bridal fashion, so to speak, I think I was freer,” Wang reflected. Now, as then, there’s no fencing in her imagination.
Designer VERA WANG presented Spring Summer 2021 collection that fuses ready to wear and bridal elements together. The collection explores sensuality and seduction, with a severe but feminine take on tailoring, and with boyish sporty pieces – creating the atmosphere of edgy romance.
SPRING SUMMER 2021 WOMENSWEAR COLLECTION
Fashion photographer John Guerrero captured the lookbook featuring models Nathalie Chablat and Kassia Taylor. Beauty is work of hair stylist Ward Stegerhoek, and makeup artist Marla Belt.
Spring vera 2021 wang
The second cheek is on fire. I do not have time to enjoy (a slap in the face from a woman is the pride of a man). As an elegant shoe rests against my chest. I hit the back of my head against the bulkhead.Vera Wang - Fall Winter 2020/2021 - Full Show
That's an insatiable girl. - flashed in my head, and disappeared. I don't know about her, but even I, running ten kilometers with full gear and calmly after that passing the obstacle course, began to get tired. - Come on. Faster.
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And she couldn't yell at all, because we were at a friend's apartment, where there was a party for narrow circles of people of interest. But I could not stop, and I was terribly scared when I realized that I was getting turned on with every blow inflicted on. Her elastic, but at the same time, soft ass. On the fourth blow, she began to moan, on the eighth she openly curled up, but burying my face in the pillow, on the tenth blow, I felt that.
I needed to let off steam, therefore, putting aside the impromptu whip, I spread her legs with my knees and entered it.