There's no doubt about it--Vera Wang boasts major star power. By the time I took my seat at yesterday morning's show, Kim Kardashian was already settled at her front-row perch, chatting away with Rachel Roy and sporting one impressively glossy topknot. The photogs, predictably, were going wild over the Kardashian kameo--but once I heard snippets of a nearby security guard's conversation (there's no mistaking the name "Beyoncé), I knew the flashbulb-popping best was yet to come.
Minutes before the runway's plastic was stripped back, in walked a radiant Beyoncé and her posse (including sister Solange), instantly stealing Kim's thunder. The golden-voiced goddess looked just as glowing as you might expect--although in her champagne cinched-waist Vera design (apparently a Spring 2012 number, as I later saw similar ensembles come down the runway), there was nary a hint of a baby bump. Such a shame--I was sort of hoping for another exaggerated tummy-rub moment.
At any rate, Vera's collection was exciting, bold, and beautiful. The designer, like many others we've seen this week, mined the sports world for inspiration, pairing gossamer gown with perforated neon peplums and sheer maxiskirts with techno-cotton vests. There were many pieces in spring-appropriate white eyelet--though worked into edgy, sexy bustiers, the embroidery lost its demure connotations. Vera even included a number of hoodies--yes, this from the master of wedding-day elegance--in textured gauze and stretch cotton. The color palette, meanwhile, was far more vivid and vibrant than we've come to expect from the designer, who famously favors soft neutrals and moodier dark tones.
In addition to the electric violet and lemon yellow utility vests and gowns, Vera experimented with a psychedelic marbleized print, which she splashed over leggings, peplums, and sculptural skirts. The collection was titled "Alice in Wonderland," according to the show notes, though the only parallel I was able to draw with the Lewis Carroll tale was the anxiety-inducing ticking noise that opened and closed the show. The clothes were airy and dreamy, yes, but these looks were more sporty-strong than damsel-in-distress.
P.S. Yes, that WAS former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright sitting alongside Kim K and Beyoncé. Talk about a style wildcard.
**All photos: Imaxtree and Getty