Sue Wong Gives Art Deco a 21st-Century Reboot

Adrianne Bonafede

To all the naysayers who lament over the long-passed golden age of 1920s glamour — when starlets were swathed in precious satins and royalty floated from room to room, adored in embroidered gowns of unimaginable opulence — start smiling. Sue Wong has just answered your prayers.

Wong’s runway show had tongues wagging the evening of March 21, when the designer sent a lavish collection of eveningwear and cocktail finery down the catwalk.

The following morning, she offered each look at her trunk show. Ruched dresses in lapis blue, coral, aqua, and neutrals like black, cream, and beige demonstrated Wong’s superior attention to detail. She also showcased a selection of embroidered coats and dinner jackets, some trimmed in fur, others with ribbon details, sequins, and bronze grommets. Shoppers admired the sophistication of each piece as the music of Edith Piaf played in the background.

The real showstopper was the racks of exquisite evening gowns that beckoned each attendee for a glance or touch. From floor-length black and nude frocks with beaded chiffon overlays and scalloped embroidery to a buttery yellow stunner with shimmering gilded burn-out panels from the bodice to hem and jewel-encrusted appliqués anchored at its plunging neckline, each design is a stylist’s dream come to life.

Project Runway designer Bert Keeter, who was in attendance at Wong’s fashion show, was also on hand to see the pageantry of her trunk show. Many attendees were just eager to examine the delicacy of Wong’s work, up close and personal.

“I’d read about her and said to myself, ‘Sue Wong is the one person I want to see,” said one attendee.

Jewelry designer Joe Polthakorn was also on hand at the event to fit customers with his voluptuous and ornate collection. He and Wong have been collaborators for years. The girth and whimsy of his statement necklaces and bracelets complemented her lush jewel tones.

Midway through the event, racks were becoming sparse, velvet jewelry displays were stripped of their sparkling adornments, and attendees left happy, with bags in hand.

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