Before the lights finally dimmed for the Vivienne Tam Spring 2013 Collection runway show, models posed for photos and guests scurried about filling in seats–much like every other show in the tents. But here, the crowd is quite diverse, in particular, it is speckled with plenty of faces of Asian descent. Chinese born designer Vivienne Tam is known for her “culture-bridging approach to design,” which is why this show, as far as Fashion Week is concerned, could be used as proof of some sort of Fashion Industry diversity initiative gone right. The runway is soon cleared and Vivienne Tam’s models begin to storm down the runway with muted faces, dead eyes, and spray-painted roots along their center parted hair. Many of them are sporting a silvery grey color, elevating their young faces to a level of sophistication associated with salt-and-pepper hair. The clothing is bold and architecturally interesting. Geometric cut outs, shapes and prints adorn cap sleeves, dress straps and pant legs. The palate is simple: red, blacks, tans and shades of grey. The accessories–a collaborative effort with TSL Jewellery, when present, are striking and dramatic.
These aren’t close for your everyday girl–there’s far too many peek-a-boo moments of skin for that. But, for any lady who feels comfortable in simple, well-constructed and sometimes revealing contemporary wear, Vivienne Tam’s Spring line is masterfully seductive. Ms. Tam says the collection is inspired by the five elements of Chinese cosmology: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. We could see all of that on the runway, but we’re feeling the fire.
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