The Vivienne Tam Spring/Summer 2013 collection felt more complete than any in recent years, and that may be because it was inspired by the Elements (fire, water, earth, metal and wood). By playing off of these Chinese elements in cosmology, Tam sought out a strict set of colors to reflect her inspiration: greens, bright red, black and white. The fabrics vacillated between sheer overlays with strong geometric patterns to heavily textured or cut-out thicker fabrics. Rigid geometric shapes also appeared in Tam’s debut jewelry collection with the oversized earrings being reminiscent of those worn by 1980’s gals in Patrick Nagel’s work. Each piece of jewelry seemed familiar yet alien all at once, and it added excitement to an already exciting collection.
Fly girl loose pants resting mid-calf, super low necklines and severe shapes that exaggerate proportions were recurring in the collection and as a whole made for a wardrobe fit for a women who takes risks but wants to be comfortable while doing so.
Minimal makeup with severely center-parted slicked-down hair pulled back into a spiky bun fit perfectly into the collection, and would not have been the same or nearly as interesting without Tam’s addition of a highly pigmented red and light blue powders to the center part of the hair.
A knee-length sheer shift dress in white with red and black massive graphics with harsh angles opened the show and set the tone with impact. A crowd favorite was a bright red knee-length dress with a neckline cut to the navel and a waistline with extended 90-degree angle flaps that was elegant-yet-spaceage. Tam’s ability to work in her hexagonal shapes into cut-out fabrics was brilliant, and the pattern is wearable enough that I could see it easily becoming a signature of Tam’s (like Missoni or Vuitton).
By Whitney S. Williams
Photos by Whitney