My heart was pounding when the last model left the catwalk of “Romance in Stripes” – TAORAY WANG’s SS 2017 runway show at New York Fashion Week. I admit, the vision of Wang Tao struck a particular cord with me – the collection is a perfect combination of strength and softness, of crisp tailoring and fluid form. It is the essence of the most elegant simplicity that is so difficult to achieve without falling into a trap of seeming “used” or “mundane”.
Designed to blend East and West, Strength and Femininity, the collection plays on the eternal juxtaposition of black and white. In fact, the vast majority of the ensembles are presented in these colors, with a few inclusions of blue and tan. Without pushing the essence of orientalism to the surface, Wang Tao skillfully keeps the notions of Taoism evident in every design. Inspired by the Shanghai mandarin gown, the designer integrates traditional Chinese artistry, such as 100% silk Jacquard hand embroidered lining and trims, into her modern designs. The collection is a balance of the rugged and the soft, it creates paradoxical allusions to the skyscrapers of New York and streams sweeping through rocks in Kyoto gardens. Classic men’s tailoring is caressed by the movement of extra-long fringe; French lace flirts with bold oversized stripes. Every look is an image of an empowered elegant female executive – a woman to respect and admire.
The ensembles were shown paired both with casual sneakers and with killer heels, again stressing the multifaceted experience of our daily existence. There are abundant combinations of jackets, vests, silk coats, and shirts with wide-leg trousers and skirts. I absolutely love the hint of delicate lace peeping from under the severe masculine tailored jackets, or long fringe streaming along a moving body. My favorite is the stunning floor length black gown with asymmetrically exposed shoulder and leg – BREATHTAKING!
From her head office in Shanghai, studio in London and with fabrics sourced from Florence, Wang Tao brings to life a vision of Global Woman who wants to be stylish, elegant and sexy, and is not afraid to show her femininity. In 2017 TAORAY WANG is opening a store in Soho, Manhattan. That in itself is worth travelling to New York.