With all of the tweets, press releases, Best Dressed lists, and deluges of photographs after a red carpet event, it can be easy to forget all of the work that went into a dress once it retreats from in front of the flashbulbs. Sure, we get more behind-the-scenes access than ever before with celebrities’ pre-show Instagrams and Twitpics, but the fittings, sewing, sketching, and frantic emailing is inevitably eclipsed by the big moment of the girl and the gown. It’s even further eclipsed when the gown doesn’t see the light of day, and when this happens, says Vera Wang, it is “devastating.”
The designer is profiled in today’s WWD as a prelude to tonight’s CFDA Awards, where she will be presented with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award, and in the interview, Wang sheds some light on the designer’s perspective on the red carpet. She confesses to taking it “very personally” when someone she dresses is criticized, and having “a lot of anxiety” about how her design will be received.
But what really hurts, she says, is when a star changes their mind at the last minute, after her team has put all of the effort in to making sure everything goes smoothly:
“I don’t care what status of designer or what history you had or whether you’re an emerging designer, it’s so painful not only to you, but your sewers, your staff, your assistants and P.R. people. It is devastating. It’s like having your guts ripped out of you because you’ve given it your all. I remember something Carolina Herrera said once that was so profound: ‘You know, when you hurt me you’re not just hurting me. I can take it. But everyone around me that gives up their life for me can’t.’ [The red carpet] is a gamble of the highest order. It’s Vegas and then some.”
Hm, Anne Hathaway Oscars drama, anyone?
To see stars that were worth the gamble for Wang, check out Kerry Washington’s just-punk-enough Met Ball look, Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ gorgeous Emmys gown, and her gilded creation for last year’s CFDA’s, plus watch the video below for a look at her last collection: