09/11/2012 04:17 EDT | Updated 11/11/2012 05:12 EST

Vera Wang touches on insider elements of Indian fashion for spring collection

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Every so often, there is moment when the runway is transported from the bustle of New York Fashion Week to somewhere else, and Vera Wang took her audience to an idealized India at her spring preview Tuesday morning.

It's not that the clothes were costume-y; they were without ornate trappings or touristy gimmicks. The clothes were quiet, delicate and lovely, sometimes requiring a trained eye to notice Wang's nod to the Nehru collar or choli jacket, but Wang's show at Lincoln Center draws the sophisticated A-list crowd.

They could appreciate the soutache embroidery, which looks a bit like braided lace, that decorated a white sleeveless V-neck shift, and the chartreuse brocade peplum top with gold jeweled epaulettes paired with a chantilly hand-pieced lace sheath.

The collarless sleeveless tailored jackets were a bit more obvious in their reference to India, but not too much so.

"The collection is out of India, but India is just the starting point," Wang said in a backstage interview. "There is no belly dancing, there are no sarongs, there are no saris. It is about the sort of discipline about Indian men's clothes like Nehru, against the mystery and sensuality of Indian women — but not literally."

Wang has visited India, but really only as a pit stop. "This is really my take on a modern, sleek India with incredible femininity and sensuality."

Even if Wang didn't find her inspiration for the collection in a faraway land, however, she would have moved the editors, stylists, retailers and celebrities (Stacy Keibler caused a front-row frenzy) gathered at Lincoln Center on Day 6 of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. She has an artful touch that makes her both a creative force and a red-carpet favourite — ideas often at odds on the catwalk.

A series of portrait-collar dresses with open necklines gave the illusion that you were seeing more than you should but there was a clever corset to keep things above board.

Don't be surprised if some of these looks head out to Hollywood later this month for the Emmy Awards. "Well, that is a possibility. That is a distinct possibility," Wang said.