Wang, Naeem Khan among bridal week high­lights

De­sign­ers cater for brides of all feath­ers; many look to the past for in­spi­ra­tion

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - FRONT PAGE - By Leanne Italie

NEW YORK: Vera Wang’s lat­est bride is feel­ing a touch of baroque ro­mance and Naeem Khan’s is ready for a Stu­dio 54 after-party.

Dur­ing a re­cent round of bridal shows in New York, Wang showed her Fall 2018 col­lec­tion via ap­point­ment and a dreamy, black-and­white look book shot by famed fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher Patrick De­marche­lier in the Jardin du Lux­em­bourg, a Paris gar­den cre­ated in the early 1600s by Marie de’ Medici, the sec­ond wife of King Henry IV.

Khan staged a run­way show in his cozy gar­ment district ate­lier, com­plete with huge disco balls and a dance party at the end with mod­els dressed in minis sparkly with gold and sil­ver se­quins and crys­tals. But those were just half the story. Other looks by Khan are in­tended to please all his brides, from Ja­pan to Dubai, New York to Ne­braska.

Here are a few high­lights from bridal week:

KHAN GETS PO­LIT­I­CAL

He em­braced his global bride in op­u­lent and edgy looks with dra­matic lace capes and shoul­der bows with long flut­tery ends to the floor, only these mod­els walked to ’60s stan­dards like the coun­ter­cul­ture Buf­falo Spring­field hit penned by Stephen Stills known for this line: “I think it’s time we stop, chil­dren, what’s that sound? Ev­ery­body look what’s go­ing down.”

When the slow walk­ers dis­ap­peared, the party be­gan with a fi­nale of danc­ing mod­els in metal­lic beads, fringe and os­trich trim that put a smile on Khan’s face as he greeted guests on his front row.

“We need a party to change our minds from all this crazi­ness of what’s go­ing on in Amer­ica,” he told the As­so­ci­ated Press.

Khan ap­pren­ticed for Hal­ston in the ’70s, work­ing with Liza Min­nelli and El­iz­a­beth Tay­lor. He’s also tight with for­mer U.S. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and for­mer first lady Michelle Obama, whom he dressed of­ten. He wanted to say some­thing about to­day’s times un­der Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

“I feel that we are go­ing on a jour­ney with our po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion where it doesn’t look very right, and we don’t have strong lead­ers who can really take the bull by the horns and make things hap­pen. We’re still di­vided,” he said. “All the mu­sic is from the time when it was Viet­nam, it was re­bel­lion. We got the mu­sic to say we are part of what’s go­ing on right now.”

Khan finds bridal a chal­lenge be­cause, he said, “brides al­ways think of them­selves in a cer­tain way,” usu­ally princesses.

“Each dress is im­por­tant on its own. It’s not one story like ready to wear. You have to really cre­ate a col­lec­tion that caters to all dif­fer­ent women of the world,” he said.

WANG IN THE GAR­DEN

This bride from Wang wears bushy fur stoles and corset bodices. One of her new gowns has a pe­plum made to look like garters.

In Wang’s De­marche­lier-shot look book, her mod­els wear large, loose feath­ers on their heads, their hair long and wavy, and with heavy black eye­liner as they take to the 6th ar­rondisse­ment gar­den, palace in the back­ground.

“I was awarded the Le­gion of Honor in Fe­bru­ary and hav­ing lived and stud­ied in Paris it was my per­sonal con­nec­tion to the Sor­bonne in the Latin Quar­ter that made me choose the Jardin du Lux­em­bourg as my lo­ca­tion,” Wang said. “The Jardin du Lux­em­bourg has al­ways been a very spe­cial place to me.”

She dis­played the gowns in her show­room and let guests touch her finely crafted fab­rics and trims. One, a light ivory ball­gown, had long sleeves with macrame lace to the skirt. The skirt was stiff and gath­ered in the baroque style above the waist. Wang did Marie proud with that one.

On other gowns, Wang used the quilt­ing style of tra­punto. It’s puffy and padded and pro­duces a raised tex­ture. She cre­ated tra­punto on a silk corset and gartered gown of buff and ivory in an A-line sil­hou­ette, along with the front of a soft white silk crepe ball­gown that had long sheer sleeves and Chan­tilly ap­plique.

“I feel it was a fash­ion state­ment for this sea­son. The sil­hou­ettes and de­tail­ing of the dresses in­ferred a cer­tain sense of scale and mod­ern ro­mance. Our clients cre­ate all sorts of wed­dings, but this col­lec­tion was in­tended to cre­ate a sense of im­por­tance and cel­e­bra­tion.”

Some­times, Wang’s skill comes in the tini­est de­tails. She put a fish­net pat­tern of lace over a flo­ral lace for a lit­tle ex­tra oomph on one gown.

MARCH­ESA LOOKS BACK

The col­lec­tion this time around draws on the brand’s her­itage and March­esa brides through the years.

De­sign duo Keren Craig and Ge­orgina Chap­man showed a lot of lay­er­ing and trans­formable looks, ball­go­wns that turn into cock­tail dresses, for in­stance, ro­man­tic all the while.

“We were look­ing at the nos­tal­gia as­pect of get­ting mar­ried, the ro­mance be­hind it,” Chap­man said in an in­ter­view. “There’s also a very dreamy as­pect, a hazi­ness.”

They threw in some lit­tle capes over strap­less gowns for brides that need to cover up. And they used an en­gi­neered corded lace paired with Chan­tilly un­der­lays.

The two showed the sec­ond sea­son of their lower-priced Notte bridal col­lec­tion as well, with some beachy and more Bo­hemian gowns for des­ti­na­tion brides.

“All of our fab­rics for Notte we work in-house and are be­spoke, too,” Craig said.

Marchessa showed a lot of lay­ered and trans­formable looks.

MARCH­ESA

NAEEM KHAN

MARCH­ESA

NAEEM KHAN

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