(images via vogue)
as we all know, designers make most of their clothing money on the pre-season collections, in part because these are in the stores the longest, but also because they tend to pull back from that which they put on the runway, which tends to be more dramatic and, you know, attention-grabbing (so they can snag headlines to sell their accessories and fragrances, of course!). now, we’ve generally become pretty accustomed to this, and although i do have some issues with the practice, it’s so pervasive, i don’t really feel i can slam it effectively. instead, i guess i’d like to praise those houses trying something different, remembering that they don’t have to play the same games as all of the ‘big’ names.
we of course know a few who stage just the same type of runway extravaganzas, and while there are several smaller names that maybe don’t have the same kind of cash flow, at least they try creatively to keep things interesting, no matter the silly name of the season before the number in these in-between moments. one such is vera wang, whose work, to me, at least (see s/s 2011, pre-fall 2011, f/w 2011, resort 2012, s/s 2012, pre-fall 2012, f/w 2012, s/s 2013) seems to speak of the same thought, love, and care (if the pre-shows are a little smaller collections, alas) regardless of the moment of its debut.
and so, for her pre-fall 2013, i really felt she gave the clothes the same kind of love had they been seeing the catwalk just the same. and as wwd explained, “(t)he day clothes were decked to the nines in opulent fabrics, such as floral jacquards and guipure, with special details and often accented with long gloves, fur and ample costume jewels affixed to big black grosgrain bows. Wang stated her recommitment to the costume jewelry that was a big part of her look a few seasons ago.”
"She reworked the classic tuxedo in blouses and cropped pants with beaded stripes and cuffs cut with a neat sporty curve," they continued. "Jackets came in wrap and cutaway versions with embellished pockets and volume at the hips, while little shift dresses followed a narrow line with harness and draped details in back. Everything was infused with an artful opulence heightened by the moody jewel tones and plenty of black, too."
“Building on her polished approached to athleticism, pintucked tuxedo pants and hobble skirts with curvilinear hemlines shimmered in shades of purple and tangerine,” declared vogue. “Overall, the array of floral jacquards was enough to rival Maggie Cheung’s lavish and extensive wardrobe of sixties-era cheongsam dresses in Kar Wai Wong’s In the Mood for Love. Chez Wang, though, the idea of cocktail had a modern feeling, and one sheath dress casually layered over a light sweater spoke to the way women are dressing for evening now. (Judging from what we’ve seen from the collections thus far, it’s a styling trick that has appears to be coming through across the board.)”
“The idea of embellishment was amped up a notch, and detachable cuffs and collars came loaded with gunmetal bullion and crystals, a quick and easy way to turn the volume up (or down) at cocktail hour: Underneath a black ruffled blazer, for example, the effect was transformative. After a series of faraway jewel-toned looks, the collection transitioned into a palette that felt closer to home. ‘It’s gray from here on out,’ said Wang, jokingly. That being said, those city-centric looks weren’t necessarily to be taken at face value. What at first glance appeared to be a classic LBD was spun with a metallic ampersand guipure lace that caught the light,” they concluded.
and finally, style chimed in that “(p)osing the question ‘Is it high day or low evening?’ she sent out a simple shift with a shirttail hem in super-luxe floral damask and added an elasticized waistband to a floor-length column skirt in corded jacquard, then paired it with a button-down in humble cotton…he necklaces and the crystal encrustations at the waistline of a sheath dress or on the pockets of a fox-collared evening jacket made this collection feel a little bit like a walk down memory lane. Revisiting your hits isn’t a bad thing when it produces a look like Wang’s sleeveless top in amythest satin jacquard and matching floor-length hobble skirt.”