Vivienne Tam Fall/Winter 2013

Click the photo for more looks from Vivenne Tam.

Vivienne Tam’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection debuted in red, white, and black with thumping electronica, full of allusions to both American and Chinese pop culture and politics. Citing the punk movement and pop art as influences for this collection’s look, Tam presented an array of strong but feminine, 1960s-esque sheath dresses and shirt-dresses juxtaposed with boxier shirts with a distinctly militant feel. Shiny-heeled boots as well as heels with ankle straps complimented the varied silhouettes of the clothing.

With a style known as “China Chic,” it was only fitting that the show would be on the first night of the Chinese New Year. Several pieces included the phrase “Wan Sui” (meaning “long live”) printed in Chinese characters, unexpectedly, on elegant one-shoulder gowns and cocktail dresses. Politics and culture entered the scene with the writings of Mao Zedong printed on some pieces, and a print called “Pop Culture Obama” on some others. One dress displayed the symbol for “Save Love Give,” an organization Tam has partnered with, which shows people how to both save money and donate to charity.

Strong lines, which Tam acknowledged as similar in appearance to Mondrian, were featured in subtle ways, like a black-and-grey geometric-print shirtdress, as well as on the bodice of a very striking evening gown. As a nod to punk rock, plaid was fairly heavily featured.

Each model’s hairstyle consisted of a tight twist with the ends sticking out, creating a very dramatic look. Some models wore black lipstick, which complimented the daring textures and colors of the collection. The show commanded attention in a way that was creative and culturally aware, without sacrificing a bit of glamour from the bold but very wearable collection. Vivienne Tam’s work succeeded in combining aesthetically and culturally varied elements to create gorgeous pieces worthy of a museum.

Ariana DiValentino is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]