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My Dress

Silk is my most favorite fabric. It is natural, elegant and glamorous. As a required element, both of my wedding dresses were made of silk, silk organza Hayley by Vera Wang for ceremony and silk satin by Marisa for reception. The two made me delicate but dramatic.

Marisa, made of a figure-hugging and unforgiving fabric, sets a glamorous tone, but keeps embellishment to a minimum.

I did not get Hayley from the fitting room in the tailor till the last day of the flight to Hong Kong. I went to every wedding gown boutiques and stores in the bay area and drove to San Francisco for many times in the past 15 months. I tried countless dresses till I found the one. When I saw her in the picture, I was destined to belong to her. She was so gorgeous that I could not wait to make her to be part of mine and show in my most memorable moment in my whole life. Actually, it was far beyond what I am saying. It is hard to explain the feeling. As a bride, you will know it.

Hayley Sketch

If there is any one dress in my Spring 2012 collection that epitomizes the pageantry of the Paris Opera, it’s Hayley. The centerpiece of this dress, for me, is the absolutely stunning, theatrical cascade of organza petals in the skirt, all cut from the most delicate tissue organza. They just float on the dress like a spilling bouquet. I did the petals in two tones: first, in a soft sand color, and then a nude, so it just gives you a complex tonality that’s a little more special.

For even more movement and excitement in the skirt, I’ve also used pleated honeycomb tulle—it gives you a whole other texture and volume underneath that petal effect. You almost picture Hayley swirling across the stage in a Degas painting.

The dropped-waist bodice features softly draped illusion organza over a corset. That transparency effect—that play between “reveal” and “conceal”—is one of my favorite techniques.

I’ve used all the textures in this dress, particularly in the petals, to give Hayley a rich, luxurious look, instead of going with traditional bling. For me, it’s about using fabric manipulations to make things look new and modern. And it’s also all about the motion in the whole gown, not the static detail. I love being able to achieve slouch and ease in a gown, and I always do this very purposefully, with layer upon layer of organic elements, as you see in Hayley. Getting that stunning combination of seemingly effortless beauty that’s so perfect and strategic: that’s what brings a dress together for me.

I like my bridal collections to be filled with unexpected touches—everything is very deliberately mixed up, assembled together, and then taken apart again, until I’ve found that perfect balance between architecture and effortlessness.

By Vera Wang