Vera Wang was born in New York in 1949, to Chinese parents who had fled the Communist revolution. She had originally dreamed of being an Olympic figure skater, but when she did not make the team in 1968, she went to the Sorbonne, in Paris and to Sarah Lawrence College in the USA, to study. She has a BA in Liberal Arts.
In 1970, on graduating, Vera became the youngest editor ever at Vogue magazine. She remained there for 17 years till 1987.
When she left Vogue, she worked with Ralph LAUREN for 2 years. In 1990, she opened her own house on Madison Avenue, New York, designing bridal wear and evening gowns. In 1994, she started her own label.
These bridal gowns are what Vera Wang is famous for. She uses rich fabrics such as silk lace and duchesses satin, in the tradition of Paris couture and applies them to the simple shapes associated with American sportswear, like the vest dress.
Her appreciation of surface decoration, particularly beading, and the use of net to give the illusion of bare skin, have also recommended her for the design of Olympic figure-skating costumes – so bringing her back full-circle to her childhood dreams. Nancy Kerrigan wore her costume in the 1994 Winter Olympics.
Her clientele list is very long, especially for Oscar night. She has made wedding dresses for numerous celebrities including Mariah Carey for her wedding to Tommy Mottola in 1993. Cate Blanchett picked up her Golden Globe for “Elizabeth” in a beaded black Wang dress. Uma Thurman, Posh Spice, Alicia Silverstone, and Sharon Stone and Elisabeth Shue are all her loyal clients.
- Vera Wang presented her Spring/Summer 2003 collection at the New York Fashion Week in September 2002, which was greeted with aclaim.
- Vera Wang showed her Fall 2003 collectiion during New York Fashion Week in February 2003. It was a lovely Asian-tinged collection. She is very well known for her evening looks, but with this collection she has clearly been putting some thought into daywear. She opened with slim coats with an early 60’s elegance. Other coats were embellished with a glimmer of beads or origami-folded ribbons.
- Wang did her version of long and short sexy silk jersey dresses, including one strappy number she called “Bondage”. Wang has solved the problem of achieving glamour and sophistication without having old-fashioned or weirdly new.
- During New York Fashion Week in September 2003, Vera Wang showed her ready-to-wear collection for next Spring.
- The show was full of understated separates and drop-dead gowns that are red-carpet ready. Her stunning jersey goddess dresses in rich green and brilliant red were the perfect foils to her diamond jewellery. She paired classic smocking with the most feminine tops and beautifully cut tuxedo trousers. A totally contemporary look that provided the perfect balance to her charming party dresses.
Fall Out from Jennifer Lopez Wedding Cancellation
- Jennifer Lopez had told everyone that she was going to wear Vera Wang’s wedding dress, and Vera made and delivered a stunning creation. Jennifer did not pay for it, as she said the publicity Vera would get would bring in lots of business for her. However when Jennifer cancelled the wedding, Vera was left high and dry – no publicity, no payment – and the media reported that Jennifer had made a ritual burning of the gown, so Vera couldn’t even sell it to someone else. Vera is out by about $20,000.
- Vera’s Fall collection was shown during New York Fashion Week in February 2004. Although her daywear is coming on strong, Vera is well-known for her bridal gowns and her beautiful evening dresses suitable for the Oscars and other red carpet occasions. This season she shaped her chiffon confections with bias cuts and hand-sewn beading or ruffles, accessorizing with pieces from her own line of diamond jewelery.
- During New York Fashion Week in September 2004, Vera Wang presented her Spring collection.
- The collection was full of lovely dresses and skirts with fine detail and delicately luxurious fabrics. She used crepe de chine, georgette and charmeuse, muted gold lame, brocades, fuzzy cashmere and wafer-thin knits. Scatterings of sequins and beads reminded us of her wedding dresses, but Wang is now strong right into everyday life.