NYFW SS20: Vera Wang

HER first Spring/Summer collection since 2017, Vera Wang returns to the catwalk in a somewhat too familiar Wang style.

Best known for her bridal gowns and occasion-wear designs, the American fashion designer has dressed celebrity clientele from Keira Knightley to Michele Obama, with this year marking the fashion house’s 30 year anniversary – an impressive feat in the world of fashion. Over the years, Wang has cemented her bridal-wear as iconic, dressing a surplus of Oscar winners, and bringing her signature sense of fairy-tale romance red carpets across the world.

Making her comeback to ready-to-wear, Wang’s SS20 collection has its strong-points, but also its losses. Two years in fashion is a long time in terms of its constantly evolving trends, but Wang misses the mark on what the 2020 buyer wants. In fact, the collection is eerily similar to her 2017 Spring Summer collection, with its monochromatic palette, loose-fitting silhouettes, and gothic romantic tone. There is even a very similar subtly futuristic theme to both collections, making the SS20 feel like more of an extension to the SS17, rather than its own stand-alone collection.

However, Wang does showcase a new sophisticated sense of technicality, going all out with with the small-details. In particular, the collection presents Wang’s signature expertise with lacework and draping, achieved through years of designing bridal-wear. There is also a heightened sense of masculinity in the clothing, through introducing elements of refined tailoring and broad silhouettes into the collection – a refreshing change of look for Wang.

Perhaps the biggest downfall of the collection is its lack of wearability. Wang has always stood for creating clothing that is both beautiful and practical, and with it at times awkward-looking layering and fit, the collection loses its magic. In fact, there was not one, but two stumbles during the catwalk show, revealing the designs to be focused around spectacle, rather than wear.

by Emma Hart

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