Vivienne Tam / Spring 2011 / New York Fashion Week
Vivienne Tam may be most famous for her 1995 “Mao” dress, but, her
designs as of late display a much different Tam: unfiltered, un-campy
and unfinished. For Spring 2011, the line brought a mature batch of
easily translatable travel wear.
Referencing the Silk Road amongst other eastern trade routes, Tam drew
her muse in a mix of dreamy lace, cotton, and canvas. Several pieces
looked droopy or wrangled by wear, establishing a comfortable ease to
many silhouettes. Misshapen jackets and lightweight tank dresses
demanded most of the attention with their flatteringly simple forms.
The most wearable pieces were also the collection’s least striking,
providing many of her best looks derive from outside her comfort zone
of cocktail dresses and eveningwear. One unstructured silk skirt swung
so effortlessly beneath a tissue-thin top it seemed to disappear
before one’s eyes.
At times, Tam falls victim to overly literal thematic depictions. Her
Fall ’10 collection and collaboration with Hewlett Packard’s laptop
division, provide in case, it’s happened all too often recently. The
key to Tam’s success is undoubtedly her willingness to provide for
women who demand wearable standards, yet her most brilliant results
originate outside that very safety net.