In 1990, inspired by a new vision where fashion and bridal meet, Vera Wang opened a bridal salon at the esteemed Carlyle Hotel on New York City’s Madison Avenue.
Retailers, editors and peers quickly noted the impact of her innovative bridal collections and encouraged Vera Wang to extend her design sensibility to ready-to-wear and bridesmaids collections. Eighteen years later, Vera Wang is no longer an emerging brand. Vera Wang's new product introductions reflect her vision to create a lifestyle that goes beyond core bridal, maids and ready-to-wear and into publishing, fragrance, beauty, accessories and home.
Vera Wang collections are positioned at the highest end of the luxury market. Driven by artistic, modern and luxurious design and style, couture-like quality and a high level of customer service, Vera Wang’s collections hold impeccable customer appeal.
Vera Wang collaborates with leading global partners, directly employs more than 200 people and manufacturers the majority of its bridal collection in company-owned workrooms in the United States.
After sixteen years at Vogue as Senior Fashion Director, followed by a gig at Ralph Lauren as a design director, Vera Wang was frustrated to find no fashion in the bridal industry. All she could find were traditional dresses that lacked sophistication. So she did what any reasonable woman with a rolodex full of high-powered fashion insiders would do; she designed her own bridal line.
Vera Wang opened a luxury salon in 1990, showcasing her new bridal collection. But the elegance, detailing, and freshness of her line quickly won her kudos from the world at large, and a wedding dress superstar was born. In 1994, a simple white skating dress with illusion sleeves worn by Nancy Kerrigan made her a household name. (A life-long athlete who has competed in international skating competitions, Vera Wang continues to design costumes for Olympic skaters such as Michelle Kwan.)
Vera Wang was raised by Chinese-American affluent parents in New York, attending the prestigious prep-school Chapin, followed by Sarah Lawrence College and the Sorbonne. Her mother was the prime influence on her design style, and regularly took her to Paris to see the fashion shows.
Today, Vera Wang is perhaps the best known wedding dress designer in the business. She has expanded her brand to include fragrance, jewelry, eyewear, shoes, and a home collection with Wedgewood, all touched by her luxurious and sophisticated style. She continues to live in New York City with her husband, Arthur Becker, and their two daughters.
What Celebrities Have Worn Vera Wang Wedding Dresses?
Most notably, Jennifer Lopez wore Vera Wang's off-the shoulder ruffled lace dress for her surprise marriage to Marc Anthony in June 2004. But she is far from the only bride to wear Vera Wang. From Jessica Simpson's meringue wedding dress to Sharon Stone's pale-pink chiffon wedding dress, this designer is continuously the choice of celebrities. Other celebrities wearing Vera Wang on their wedding day include Uma Thurman, Mariah Carey, Holly Hunter, and Karenna Gore.
What is a Vera Wang Wedding Dress Like?
In the tradition of Paris couture, she uses rich fabrics, luxurious details such as hand beading, and the best craftsmanship. Vera Wang Wedding Dresses skirt the fine line of applying modern touches to traditional styles, avoiding both harsh modern looks and syrupy old-fashioned sweetness. As her design empire has grown, the range has also grown. Today, a bride can find everything from sweet bows to unusual tulle-backed dresses, and even dresses with wide gold lamé bands along the bottom. She tells brides that they can be sensual, and in fact, this may be where she's had the most influence on the wedding industry. Whether traditional ball-gowns or dramatic mermaid-train dresses, her wedding dresses celebrate the body.
How Much Does a Vera Wang Wedding Dress Cost?
Vera Wang's Luxe Collection starts at $6,000, with some dresses costing as much as $12,000 or more. However, most of her dresses range from $2000 to $7000. While certainly expensive, it's within the range that many non-celebrity middle-class brides spend on their dresses. If this is still out-of-your budget, look at Vera Wang bisque-colored bridesmaid dresses which start at $200 and run under $1000. Other brides look for her famous sample sales in New York, where one-of-a-kind samples and stock overruns have as much as a 75% discount.
We all know that the Vera Wang wedding gown style is usually traditional with modern touches. We also know that Vera Wang gowns are usually very expensive.
That’s why this year’s 2010 spring collection was an interesting change from her norm. The dresses were wonderful for the most part and this collection included several more affordable wedding gowns. (some dresses are $2,000 less than what she would normally charge). Understanding what the economy is like this year, Wang made sure that the median price of this year’s gowns was around $3,800. For her, this is phenomenal, fiscally responsible dress making.
In some ways, she went away from her normal style. For instance, one of her dresses had wide, loose straps that strayed from her normal style of strapless dresses, a wrapped bodice that wasn’t cinched tight to the body, and a lightly bunched silhouette with a big white bow on the left side. This bridal gown also had another bow in the back, with a nice, low cut V-back.
This collection brought out colors, debuting a green strapless wedding gown with layers of light silks, an empire bodice with a slight ball gown silhouette and a green silk wrap at the waist. The belt accessory seemed to be more popular with this collection of wedding gowns. One gown with a belt was a light tan color in flowing layers; the gown was stunning.
Another strapless tan dress just didn’t impress me. It had a pure lace wrap that tied into a big bow and a gathering of fabric on the silhouette that came into what looked like a vortex waiting to eat someone. Although it didn’t get my vote, I’m sure there are several brides that will love it.
My favorite for this 2010 Vera Wang collection of gowns was a strapless white gown with a bodice that, at the top, is a silvery beaded pattern, which softly tapers to the waist and wraps around the back, tied in a bow. Then the silhouette flows out in layers of lace; it looked like a gown that a princess would be proud to wear.
All in all it was a daring display of wedding gowns for 2010, where Wang had stated that, though the price of her dresses was lower, she didn’t want to skimp on style. If you were looking for traditional this year, you didn’t get it. But you certainly did get style in abundance.
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