Sue Wong isn’t exactly known as the designer to shatter the mold. It doesn't seem as if she strives to make clothing that no one has ever seen before. In fact, it generally seems to be quite the opposite, as many of her garments resemble clothing you'll see in “Downton Abbey,” which might be her intention.
However, the real treat you’ll find in her work is her execution.
Wong’s fall 2014 “Edwardian Romance” collection shown last Friday at her atelier was certainly not lacking flourishes. Each model was adorned in an intricate hat that would not seem out of place at a royal wedding. The runway show was a feast for the senses, down to the minutia of the clutches each model held. All of the dresses fit very resolutely within the mold, and they were all impeccably executed.
However, as the models continued to showcase the dresses, the collection became somewhat derivative, almost repetitive. The only differences in the show seemed to be the dresses’ color and the dramatic levels within the music.
Towards the end, I felt like everyone strutting down the catwalk belonged in Interview with a Vampire. The theme, rather than being merely inspirational, was taken quite literally, and the dresses truly felt as if they had been lifted from the period in question. It was apparent that each look was intricately put together, and the subtleties in the construction would be best appreciated up close with more time for analysis.
And with that, it was truly in the end that the designer hit her stride. It comes as no surprise that once the palette changed to white and the dresses were all long, the specificity within the detailing became the shining star. These dresses would look amazing on brides.
In the realm of wedding attire, fashion isn’t looking for something that will be revolutionary or incredibly unique. People want a dress that is undeniably beautiful, one where it is the intricacies and the detailing that make it unique, which is exactly what Wong provided.
Overall, Wong's garments do more than draw inspiration from an earlier time—they recreate it. Lace overlays have been done before. People have been doing them for years, so their use in a fashion collection is not unexpected or incredibly original. However, there is certainly something to be said for when it is done well. There are certain looks and silhouettes that never lose their appeal. They are, simply put, beautiful regardless of the time or place.
Though many of the Edwardian looks had most certainly been done before, Wong’s intricate detailing made them special. Each outfit’s draping seemed to have been carefully thought out and supremely constructed, which was enough to leave me thoroughly impressed.