Pompeii, Italy, never fails to capture imaginations — and so it seemed an unsurprising focus for Uma Wang, a designer who draws on faded civilizations. Pompeii’s influence on her garments was something more unexpected.
First of all, there was skin. Slits at the midriff, asymmetric silhouettes that left an arm bare, and bustier tops revealing backs and shoulders. These were spun in neutral fabrics that are a brand signature — ivory and Army green, some silky and luxurious-looking, others faded with a sprinkling of paint splatters.
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“Two-thousand years ago, [there were] people drinking, partying,” she said backstage before the show, explaining her new sexy-sensual direction.
“It’s the first time [the pieces] really show the body.”
Much of the lineup was pure Uma Wang: long, loose suits and dresses with elaborate drape work, folds, and gatherings, lots of layers, carefully arranged to meet her unique style of understated elegance.
One pattern evoked colored marble; another had roman lettering running across in rows. An extra flap of material draping off the shoulder of a loose suit was eye-catching. “It’s PVC — plastic,” she said, explaining that she wanted to attach it to the rich silk and linen fabrics — using more silk would have been too much, like eating too much chocolate.
Things got spicy at one point with a sudden — ahem — eruption of hot pink. After all that dying, a dash of hope was needed, which she offered in the form of pink highlights.
There were also some interesting new takes on volumes, including extra-high collars and sleeves that were gathered on the inside but that ballooned out on the outside in an arc.
People in the city couldn’t imagine that something horrible was about to happen, she observed, so better to make the most of things.
“Carpe diem — enjoy the moment!”
Launch Gallery: Uma Wang RTW Spring 2020