Vera Wang is the epitome of being a constant trend setter for bridal and red carpet fashion. In her 2023 bridal collection (of 54 dresses), the designer empowers brides to embrace their force of freedom on how they want to look and how they want to celebrate their big day!
During an energetic conversation with Vera Wang to discuss about her new collection, VERA WANG BRIDE 2023, the iconic designer gave us her point of view on today’s weddings, about how she is inspired on what young people are feeling right now, the most flattering silhouette for any body type and how she keeps her self creative and motivated. Be empowered by her positive statements.
WHAT IS THE ESSENCE OF YOUR 2023 BRIDAL COLLECTION?
It is joy, energy and happiness, fun and things people couldn’t feel when we were all locked-up(Covid) and that energy is expressed very much not only for weddings but fashion in general, a certain need for freedom and self-expression. I always, ALWAYS encourage brides to be who they want to be in their day, that individuality (is important) because everyone is not the same.
As a fashion designer who focuses enormously on weddings, I bring what we do on Ready-to-Wear and Red Carpet to it. This particular new collection is about youth, positivity and FUN!, reflected in the campaign photos. Where as on my first collection for Pronovias was inspired in Bridgeton, based on mystery, romance and intensity, night time, sensuality as in this second collection (Vera Wang 2023) is pure energy, CELEBRATE!.
There should be something for all different kinds of brides, they should not feel obligated to restrict themselves on how they look on their wedding day. It’s their decisions, their day, I have always felt that way. This particular collection just felt timely when we did it because is a new sound of freedom, not only in terms on what they wear but also how they celebrate. That combination and connection between the guys and girls as seen in the campaign speaks volumes about movement and energy. It brings a whole new vitality and perspective on getting married.
WHO IS THE BRIDE-TYPE THAT YOU HAD IN MIND DURING THE DESIGN PROCESS OF THE 2023 COLLECTION?
Sexy brides and fun and celebratory. There is freedom in their way they are moving and interacting, there is laughter and joy. I am seeing this (in real weddings) I actually do go to, friends, family just this past year, I just did about 38 to 40 weddings from fashion people I know, art director’s kids and yet they have been all different and I feel this is what this collection celebrates: if you want a body conscious (gown), something flowing that is cool and hip, or something seductive, (you can have it). Weddings are very different from when I started. I try to follow a trend but setting a trend. I’ve always had my own personal freedom in terms on how I design, this is very emblematic for me. I loved shooting this new collection, the way the girls look, their energy, it is such a positive vibe.
WHICH SILHOUETTE DO YOU THINK IS TIMELESS AND CAN FIT ANY BODY TYPE?
An A-line, whether it is a larger or narrow, in tulle or very stiff fabric like Zibeline. The A-line is very flattering, it hides anything you wish to hide and yet it is a very good fit for the majority of women, no matter if it is deconstructed or extremely constructed, it is a shape that flatters anyone.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FABRIC TO CONSTRUCT A WEDDING DRESS, AND WHY?
There isn’t one! It depends on what interest me, different fabrics imply different silhouettes, they also imply design restrictions and possibilities.
The fabrics dictate to a very great degree the kind of dress I am going to design and the structure of it, what the mood and attitude of the dress is and of course the bride. There isn’t one favourite, I have so much experience designing not only in bridal but on Red Carpet that I feel very comfortable working with most fabrics.
YOUR WEDDING DRESSES ARE ENHANCED WITH STATEMENT FEATURES SUCH AS BOWS, GLOVES OR VOLUMINOUS SLEEVES. WHAT DO THEY MEAN TO YOU, DO THEY HAVE A SPECIFIC PURPOSE?
Yes, all of those features I love because a bride can personalized her wedding dress. We offer something that can appeal maybe to a very large audience, but when it comes down to the very personal moment of what you choose to wear and what to want to do to differentiate your self (you can apply those features) I’ve had girls who are in a same group of friends that want the same dress as their other friend…that has happened to me!…but they don’t really want exactly the same dress. In 35+ years of experience, accessories are just to me as fashion is for a stylist director. The more that you can personalize anything you wear the cooler it is. Women have a new power, things have changed drastically. Women are able to explore more who they are, and I think they feel more confident and more creative and that is something that encourages myself because it’s a woman designing for other woman. What better moment than your wedding day to express yourself. Now with social media you can express at a much larger platform, no matter who you are and no matter what your choices are, and this collection to a great degree reflects that.
YOU STARTED YOUR COMPANY DESIGNING BRIDAL. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU CAN EMPHASIZE NOW VS. WHEN YOU STARTED IN THE BRIDAL FASHION INDUSTRY?
It is enormous! I started a year after I got married myself (laughs), how is that for crazy! I started my business because in the process of searching for my dress I’ve already been a Sr. Fashion editor for American Vogue, I’ve been designing directly for Ralph Lauren, I was very much a fashion insider, so when I went to get married myself I never understood the process of weddings and I started to look around I thought there was room for more of a fashion take, to bring fashion to weddings. I couldn’t help it because that was my past history for 20+ years. I didn’t play by any rules. My very first (wedding) dress for American Vogue magazine had a black velvet trim on it, and back then it was unhearable “OMG Black on a Wedding Gown!” I think I broke every rule and in a way it worked out, it wasn’t intentional, it was who I was – a creator. It was a respect for every woman who has her unique style and way of being. I am here to offer options, that is what I’ve been doing.
YOU WORK NON STOP IN YOUR COMPANY . YOU DESIGN, STYLE EVERY LLOK, OVERSEE THE PHOTOSHOOTS FOR YOUR CAMPAIGNS, YOU DIRECT THE MODELS. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO CONTINUE DESIGNING AFTER 30+ YEARS?
I think because I am still very much a fashion editor, that part of me is still there. I like to see what’s new, I like to explore, I like to see what happens, what is evolving in fashion, in the streets, in couture and how you mix and match all those influences to create your own statement. I always think of the bride: is she being serviced, is she being ignored, is there anything out there that could appeal to he? Every single collection I have done, and there have been so many over 35 years! (laughs), I just have to say that in every collection what I love about it is as long I can keep it evolving, relevant, and moving then I am really excited about wedding design. The day that I can’t will be the day I’d stop, that is the truth.
There is a passion that I personally evolved in. I don’t call things “in”. I am there on-set myself, every second, that is where the real creativity happens for me. There is no other way to me, I don’t know any other way to work.