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LA Fashion Week: Sue Wong brings Paris to L.A.

March 18, 2010 |  8:32 am
A new minimalism may have been the takeaway for the fall season in Paris, but not so far in L.A., at least not when it comes to self-proclaimed “maximalist queen” Sue Wong, who showed her fall eveningwear collection at her Koreatown studio Tuesday night.

Although the cocktail party-style presentation was more low-key than what we have grown to expect from the fantasy-loving designer, the format -- with informal modeling and dresses on mannequins -- was all the better for appreciating the kind of detail she offers for the price. (The collection, sold at Saks, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales, is priced from $329 to $699.)

Her theme was “La Vie Parisienne, from the bustling boulevards of Montparnasse to the picturesque cafes lining the Seine to the soaring heights of Montmartre.” Which made for Sue Wong-style bedazzlement in the biggest way.

There was a lot to look at, from a coquettish black and rose ombre organza cocktail dress trimmed in Victorian lace, to a flame-red confection resembling a showgirl costume (in a good way), with a beaded bodice and coq feather hem. The organza petal skirt on a platinum-colored gown with a beaded bodice was inspired by the gardens of the Tuileries, and a mahogany jersey drop waist dress with a jeweled bib collar inspired by Paris’ grittier Marais district. (Top hats and feathered headpieces were a nice touch.)

“Paris is my favorite city on the planet,” said Wong, pausing to admire a guest in one of her beaded gowns. “I haven’t seen that one in about five years,” she said, as if the gown was a long, lost family member. “It still looks good.”

Indeed, so many women dressed faithfully in her designs, it was difficult to tell the models from the guests. And if the postage-sized red carpet outside seemed like a bit much, just remember what it is Wong does best: give every one of her customers their own red-carpet moment.

--Booth Moore

Photos: Three looks from Sue Wong's fall collection. Credit:  Shea Walsh / AP Images for Sue Wong