style.com: Vivienne Tam Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear
see the complete collection ›
NEW YORK, February 18, 2009
By Alison Baenen
Vivienne Tam’s closely edited collection for Fall focused mainly on cocktail dresses; a few skirts, a couple of blouses, and a cheongsam made up the rest. “I always wear dresses,” the designer said by way of explanation. “I’m not really a pants person.” Those frocks, for the most part, were lovely, though Tam faltered by overworking some until they became more wearable art than ready-to-wear. Her inspiration this season was the Chinese character for nothingness—a piece of art in its own right—which Tam was drawn to for its graphic appeal, as well as its message of cleanliness and starting afresh. The character appeared, in some form or another, on almost all of her 20 looks. While at times its use was too literal—a purple sheath dress made entirely from characters on rounds of laser-etched silk charmeuse looked uncomfortable to wear—the abstract renderings of the symbol were skillfully done.