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Vera Wang's own 'Passage to India'

There were hints of more indigenous elements of

There were hints of more indigenous elements of Indian style at Vera Wang's Spring 2013 show: lace jacquard pajama trousers, Nehru collared jackets and shiny, hammered bullion sequins on skirts and tanks. (Sept. 11, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

Vera Wang knows: India is seductive. Anyone who’s been there will tell you, there is an intoxicating quality that helps you to see past all that overcrowding, heat and poverty. The Brits were so captivated by the place, they stuck around as a colonial power way longer than they should have.

Wang explores this appeal with a subtle collection that melds colonial grandeur and local beauty. White cotton cutaway jackets with petticoat skirts seem fit for an early 20th century magistrate’s wife, just the kind of thing Judy Davis might have worn in that Merchant-Ivory film adaptation of the E.M. Forster classic, “A Passage to India.” (Netflix, anyone?)

Same goes for those tops and dresses with soutache (or braided) embroidery. And the tulip skirts, which would’ve been much longer back in the day (here, they’re minis, and capture a flirty attitude). And the guipure lace — the wispy long gowns and shorter cocktail dresses were stunners, dusted with jewels on the waist or shoulders.

There were hints of more indigenous elements of Indian style: lace jacquard pajama trousers, Nehru collared jackets and shiny, hammered bullion sequins on skirts and tanks. But the look here, ultimately, is subtle — nothing too obvious or Bollywood. (No saris, for instance, which could make the line seem costumey). Wang’s India is more under-the-radar.

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