Vera Wang: Spring 2014 Bridal Collection And Sarah Lawrence Commencement Address

By John D. Ersing May 28, 2013 7:16 AM EDT
  • 18 pictures


Vera Wang gave a "philosophical but realistic" speech to students at her former university last Friday. The famous fashion designer was asked to deliver the commencement speech at Sarah Lawrence College, where Wang studied theatre and art history. The designer graduated from the faculty of the prestigious school in 1971.

Vera Wang had her reservations about the speech, admitting that she felt a little intimated by her predecessors who have given the commencement speech at Sarah Lawrence College in past years. "I mean [congressman and Mayor of Chicago] Rahm Emanuel, [actress] Jessica Lange, [journalist] Arianna Huffington... When you read these names, you think, 'What am I doing here?' Except I really did attend Sarah Lawrence," she told WWD. "The speech is very philosophical, but hopefully it's a bit realistic."

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The bridalwear designer will be receiving the CFDA's coveted Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award this week. However, Vera Wang doesn't want to be judged by her outfit on the day of the Sarah Lawrence commencement. "I will be in a cap and gown - this will not be a fashion moment!" she said, laughing.

Vera Wang entered Sarah Lawrence as a pre-med student, but switched gears during her tenure at the university. Because Wang herself struggled to find her path in life and came out on top regardless, her speech focused on the power of reinvention. She explained that in order to succeed in the modern world, being able to adapt to changing conditions is key - "even if you're a stay-at-home mom."

"The world is a changing place. If you don't have that flexibility, something will hold you up," ensures the 63-year-old fashion designer. "I am also going to talk about accepting diversity. Everyone is different, whether that be different ethnicities, upbringings, education or anything else. Without diversity, the world is very judgmental and very limiting. Different people bring different things to each situation. These have really been the tenets of the school from Day One."

The commencement comes a month after Vera Wang "unveiled" her Spring 2014 Bridal Collection. Wang's bridal collections are always out-of-the-box; last Spring's offering was all-red, surely a departure from the traditional wedding gown.

For Spring 2014 bridal, Vera Wang opened up the show with two ivory silk-crepe gowns in a mermaid silhouette, one featuring a v-neck and the other strapless. But that's about as traditional as Vera got this season. The Sarah Lawrence College alum showed edgier black-and-white looks that were styled with accessories like a black harness and long leather gloves.

"It's a new way for me to look at sophistication and sensuality," said Wang before the show. "There is more skin showing, and some sportswear references." Certainly the nod to sportswear was seen in the Chantilly lace mermaid gown that was roughed up with a netted top with a high neckline. The 17-look Vera Wang Spring 2014 Bridal collection concluded with a white gown cut right down the middle with a striking panel of black.


  • 18 pictures

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