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Forest Fantasia

 New York – An ethereal bridal collection from Vera Wang for Fall 2009 evoked wood sprites and forest creatures for "A Midsummer's Night Dream" wedding.Abercrombie & Fitch Taking cues from Wang's ready-to-wear collections - barely-there, painterly color palette, layered hand-cut tulle and asymmetrical draping - challenging the notion that bridal couture needs to stick to a white duchess satin ball gown formula. "I like to think outside the box with these collections," said Wang after the show.
One of the keys to Wang's re-imaging of bridal is to take the traditional silhouette, but soften or update it for a more modern, fashion-conscious customer. The "ball gown" turns into a cloud of softly folded tulle with a bodice like whipped frosting, accented with a simple lavender grosgrain sash. A "mermaid" gown softly flares into oversized layers of watercolor-like, earthy chestnut organza, while sequined straps suspend a slip dress from bare shoulders for a look that is as seductive as vintage lingerie.
Here, the way Wang manipulates fabric takes a starring roll rather than the usual beaded embellishment. Instead of using beading or embroidery to detail her gowns, she will twist and pleat tulle into a dramatic train, or line a hem with hand-cut rosettes. Necklaces or bracelets of sequins and beads sewn to ribbon provided just enough sparkle.
The show had editors buzzing for its creativity and advanced take on the bridal gown, but Abercrombie and Fitchone editor was overheard asking a buyer whether the colorful gowns would be on their lists. "As long as they come in white!" remarked the buyer. Still, the collection inspired a bohemian, return-to-mother-nature narrative that will likely appeal to brides looking to avoid the conspicuousness of bling in favor of something soft and romantic.