Next month, Vera Wang will receive the Goeffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement award at the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards. It will be the latest of many prestigious accolades the famed designer — best known for her stunning red carpet gowns and her reputation as a wedding gown guru — has received in the more than two decades since her name became an iconic brand.
As her career reaches yet another summit, EW asked Wang to look back at a some of her fashion firsts.
My first red carpet moment: “Sharon Stone was my first — I know, it’s like I’m talking about a boyfriend,” jokes Wang of Stone’s 1993 Academy Awards look. “She’d just come to the scene in Basic Instinct and it was a nude, duchess, satin halter ball gown — not nude, more like blonde, like her hair.” The dress, Wang says, was unique for a time when red carpet style had become casual. “Nobody had really been into dressing up for the Oscars anymore. [Sharon] really brought back that sense of glamor to the Oscars and now, obviously, it’s become the fashion Olympics.” (If we’re using sports metaphors, Wang can be considered a gold medalist.) And while the designer can list with ease all the women who have claimed the title of best dressed in her creations, for her that’s not the most rewarding part. “It’s not just dressing the star, it’s making an impression on the psyche when people are watching. Those are all moments I treasure — not only because of the clothing but because the collaborative effort, that we all work together make these looks.”