Sun, 11 May 2003

Wang's bridal collection comes to town

Hera Diani, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Many people, or parents to be exact, are willing to pay millions and even billions of rupiah to hold a grand wedding reception.

However, would they pay up to US$12,000 for a wedding dress, an outfit that is only worn once? (Except if you're married seven times like Hollywood dame Elizabeth Taylor).

But if the latest Jaguar model can be sold out in a second here, as well as any over-priced branded merchandise, why wouldn't an exclusive bridal gown?

Therefore, it is certainly no wonder that the distributor of American designer Vera Wang was interested in the Indonesian market -- the very first Vera Wang bridal collection fashion show was held recently in Jakarta.

The show was held at Hotel Mulia Senayan in Central Jakarta, presenting Wang's Spring/Summer 2003 bridal and evening gown collection, by the Vera Wang Corp., the Asian branch office located in Hong Kong, and Singapore's The Link boutique.

The latter is the only distributor of Vera Wang in Asia and has been marketing the designer's collections, with complete accessories, for six years. The Link also holds licenses to distribute collections from other world-class designers, including John Galiano and Badgley Mischka.

Vera Wang Corp.'s Hong Kong office itself was established just six months ago.

"Asia is an important market, and the Indonesian market has great potential," General Manager Swana Luk told The Jakarta Post after the show.

The Link's Vice President Alphonsus Chung said they often received orders from Indonesian customers.

"Many Indonesian customers come to our boutique in Singapore, and make up 15 to 20 percent of our total customers," Chung told the Post.

Comprising 50 pieces, the show summed up what Wang is known for: Elegant and stylish designs with great cut and finishing. These attributes make her the most respected and influential designer of wedding dresses in the world.

Her Spring/Summer 2003 bridal collection was clearly inspired by the European Renaissance, and includes gowns fitted with strapless Duchess corsets and strapless Duchess full gowns.

Only a few of the pieces come in the traditional white of bridal gown, and most are in off-white, some in satiny cream, which are pretty nevertheless.

Wang uses satin, georgette, tulle, organza and silk in her gowns. As for the details, there are many bows and ribbons, both short and long, flowing down the backs of the dresses.

Wang also uses lace and embroidery to enhance the bust, waistline and hem. A particularly attractive piece is a strapless, precision-cut A-line gown that is adorned with an embroidered floral motif, with the motif cut out along the inner borders, locally known as kerancang embroidery.

The bridal collection is elegant and simple, with minimalist details. Excessively long bridal trains a la Lady Diana are absent in the collection, with the longest trailing about a meter behind the happy bride.

A little out of the ordinary is a slightly funky and sunny gown, a silk and tulle ball gown with hand-painted yellow butterfly details along the decolletage and bust.

The evening gown collection is equally elegant and stylish, and comes in a variety of hues, such as red, black, purple and champagne. One gown that stood out was a lilac, full-length, silk halter gown embellished with lace.

As with the bridal collection, the evening gowns were also trimmed with bows, ribbons and lace.

Gowns from the collection, can only be purchased by appointment through The Link in Singapore, as they do not yet have a boutique in Indonesia.

The bridal collection are divided into three price ranges: From US$1,700 to $3,000, $3,000 to $6,000, and $6,000 to $12,000. The prices of evening gowns, meanwhile, range from $3,000 to $10,000.