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Vera Wang’s Ethereal World: Fall-Winter 2011 Bridal Collection

Bridal Runway

While we wait with bated breath for the bride to make her first entrance—what delicate confection will take hold of our imaginations? In her Fall-Winter 2011 Bridal collection, Vera designed dresses whose exits made equally lingering statements, some fragile, like a blossom of smoke, or bold and sweeping, with gestures in tulle and organza akin to slow streams that build into heart-stopping waterfalls.

These were dresses that no single photograph can do justice to—to experience these, they need their own 3D movie, a full 360 degrees of interaction. Each gown had its own story, its own set of special effects. They bowed to and beckoned to, and simultaneously challenged, nature and its laws of gravity.

Mermaid gowns with sharply folded godet train spoke a language of poetic, rhythmic motion. The bold, sweeping lines of a one-shoulder gown traced lines like the paths of comets, or a tropical palm frond, or hand with splayed fingers, as the pleating on the back of the dress twirled like a fractured sunburst. And a gown colored with smudges of graphite, draped into the kneaded shape of an artist’s gum eraser, was shaped with subtle smocking, an exclamation point to a big, sweet gesture.

Bold black bands of ribbon—in the hair, slightly messy yet polished in an updo—and encircling the waist, were like final swipes of a thick paintbrush over an ink-washed, watercolor landscape.

Vera’s brides are brides of the future, with origami folded bodices that shape with geometric precision, or in asymmetrically draped sweetheart necklines that spiral down as slim columns, grounding the architectural folds of an exaggerated, horsehair-trimmed peplum bodice. Or she is a mermaid in a frozen lagoon, a vision in a snowy landscape whose slow streams are frozen, the ice rippled and frothy.

A chrysanthemum organza blossom skirt looks creamy enough to eat, weightless but with beautiful light and shape. Imagine a whole stack of love letters, love poetry…all the textual paper material of a romance piled up, with languid limbs scurrying lusciously through it. There is a joyous excess to these layers—a celebration of life and love—and the epitome of ethereality!

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