It has become almost cliche to talk about Vera Wang and wedding dresses in the same breath. The designer’s signature white dresses have become the gold standard by which trips down the aisle are judged but such a rarefied position can be a double edged sword. The bridal market is known for its adherence to tradition moreso than its commitment to innovation and one might expect the queen of said market to find herself mired in the conventional when crafting her collections. Many designers reserve their truly challenging work for their mainline while their bridalware tends towards the orthodox. Vera Wang ( Vera Wang Bridal 09 Slideshow ) is smarter than that – she knows that the same women who enjoy the romantic deconstructed pieces she shows for ready to wear will crave the unexpected if and when they choose to get hitched.
The running motif for Wang this season is lightness. Every dress – whether it’s a frothy tulle number or a silken sheath reminiscent of a vintage nightgown – is imbrued with an airy and almost insubstantial quality. Even the most complex pieces seem as though they could be swept away in the slightest gust of wind. Layer after layer of draped and twisted fabrics combine to form something that looks relatively unadorned. Granted it is this taste for subtlety that have separated Wang from the pack when it comes to bridal designs but something has to be said for the fluid way in which these ideas are interpreted. The seamless mix of pinched wasp waists paired with full skirts, the neat little bows wrapping up each dress like a present – it all fits together perfectly. Add in the chic variations in color and you have the makings of something unique. The high points of the collection are the moments far removed from the narrow ideas of what a wedding dress can be -sleek jet black, taupe origami folds, a hint of green, all ensembles that make an impression due to their uniqueness.
While many of the designs stray from the beaten path – there are still options for those in search of the frou frou.Weddings are perhaps the one arena wherein the princessy side of dressing is not just allowed but embraced. For anyone craving escapist fantasy there are white dresses with the sorts of embelishments that would make even the most demanding bride-to-be more than happy. These are still unique dresses and they offer a light and ethereal take that still feels fresh somehow. Flights of avant garde fancy may keep things interesting from a design standpoint but ultimately it’s all about pleasing the ladies in question. In finding the right mix between her own aesthetic and the demands of the market Wang shows just why she remains at the top of her game within this arena.