Designer Alexander Wang – who recently left Balenciaga – celebrated his Fashion Week show with pole dancers, Hooters waitresses, a performance by Lil Wayne and Ludacris, and swag that seemed to celebrate pot-smoking. Wang didn’t want to rehash the past, not overtly, but asked himself what’s fresh and new.
Like most people of his generation, 31-year-old Alexander Wang’s chosen method of communication is social media. “That’s how we felt designing the collection”.
At the end of the show, Wang took his bow to glitter cannons while massive video screens played footage of the last 10 years, including Wang saying: “I never thought fashion would take me this far so soon”. “Maybe the idea of the mundane and the rejection of innovation is what feels modern”. It was not only the 10th anniversary of the designer’s eponymous label, but the first since the July announcement that he was departing as creative director of Paris fashion house Balenciaga. Under its umbrella of street, sex, grit and sport, he expressed a breadth of individualism. There were big white T-shirts, lots of oversized jackets, ample hoodies, mesh tanks, low-slung striped pants. An oversize khaki trench over a silk and lace slipdress captured brooding intellectual romance.
Showstoppers were the black leather bustier aligned with fringe and the accompanying maxi dress (paired of course with white sneakers). Though casual and accessible, everything was intensely worked on. California, where Wang is originally from, was one of the places he looked. In other words, models off-duty, the catchphrase of his early work, a shorthand for effortless cool.
Scene setting: Entering Wang’s understated venue, a Midtown pier by the Hudson River, was much like venturing into a stadium gig.