Friday, March 23, 2007

Can’t Go Wrong With Wong

By Lesley Althaus, BeansTalk Special Correspondent

BeansTalk can appreciate the splendor and occasional snobbery of a good fashion show, especially one with a driving retro rock beat. We were more than happy to attend the Sue Wong Fall 2007 fashion show, during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios in our hometown of Culver City, Calif., on Sunday, March 18, 2007.

We also saw our ME’s celebrity acquaintance, Niecy Nash, who, of course, sat front and center, as did an overly effusive Maria Conchita Alonso, soap star Jacklyn Zeman and an “O.C.” star we didn’t know.

We got a kick out of the show’s finale, which featured what we think of as fashion-show only wedding gowns, replete with lots of lace and feathers. They looked so heavy even our fellow attendee, our (if we say so ourselves) model-built teenage daughter (aka MBTD) would find it a tiny struggle to glide down the church aisle.

Wong is best known for her flower prints and handkerchief hem dresses that have been one of the few designs that have gone from the runway to reality.

The evening gowns were classy and sophisticated – they might not work for the MBTD’s prom exactly, but they’re certainly something we’d wear, and many of our peers. If we were a celebrity or walking down the red carpet with one (and we’re not talking an administrative escort, but a real one), we’d be more than happy to don one of these lovely gowns.

The main portion of the show was dedicated to the burgeoning rock fashion of the sixties and seventies, a celebration, if you will, to Carnaby Street, with sixties elegant boho dresses. Her signature colors – here amplified into very bold, nearly neon-- were applied to styles that would flatter many forms, and we’re talking bubble skirts and babydoll frame dresses. Metallic minis! When will we see Nicole Richie in one? Chloe Sevigny?

Also grabbing from that era were the maxi-dresses. Our first thought? There’s something for everyone here! Geometrics, high-necks, halters. Think Jean Schrimpton, Edie Sedgewick, Mary Quant.

Gripping her cane, Wong seemed sweetly grateful for the standing ovation: "The Mod era was my era, I came of age during that time, so this was a no-brainer,” she said of the theme of her collection.

Images: Designer Sue Wong appears backstage prior to the Sue Wong Fall 2007 fashion show, during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios in Culver City, Calif., on Sunday, March 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) Sue Wong, center, and models backstage at the Sue Wong show during Fall 2007 Fashion Week in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 18, 2007. (Fashion Wire Daily/Maria Ramirez)