Vera Wang Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 New York

There was a lot going on on the Vera Wang catwalk this season. The veteran designer looked to be in an exploratory mood and she used her fall/winter 2013 catwalk as her living laboratory.

Wang focused her attention on the idea of how to use classical dressmaking techniques to create sculptural silhouettes that looked both refined and modern. It was an idea that started out strong with a series of black and stone white pieces cut in an egg shape, that immediately brought to mind the work of Cristóbal Balenciaga. But the designer made the style her own in the way she layered the fabrics so that a vest-like top would scoop down at the sides giving access to deep pockets that came paired with a rounded shift dress, or a v-neck tunic top with a curved hemline worn with a cocooning black shrug with bishop sleeves and a matching black and stone shaded color block skirt.

From there Wang began to move away from the strong minimalistic idea into something more feminine. Where beaded embellishments, corded or guipure lace and luxe furs appeared on a number of all black designs. Outfits that, even though they incorporated sculptural elements like kimono sleeves or rounded capes, looked somehow proportionally off balance.

It was only when Wang started to add some color to her highly ornamental designs, playing with how the movement of the model’s body would bring the intricate handiwork to life, did this collection get back on track. And in the final thirteen looks which all featured a rose motif jacquard fabric (that matched the catwalk’s carpet) in shades of tangerine and magenta, Wang found a way to bring all of the elements she was playing with in this collection to a happy conclusion.

- Jessica Michault