NYFW A/W ‘11 Report: Alexander Wang

13 February 2011

We can't say we weren't warned. A profile of Alexander Wang in the forthcoming Fashion issue of New York magazine claims he's a dance-aholic; says a close friend;  'He’ll get down almost anywhere, from the grubby Williamsburg Sugarland gay dance garage to the old Sunday-night Hiro party at the Maritime Hotel to traveling German raves that are text-invitation-only to his model pal Agyness Deyn’s party house at the Coachella music festival (where Wang dispatched a model-terrifying desert insect on the wall with a deadly high-kick). He’ll drive to Philly for a good dance party or fly to Barcelona or hit the 'underwear' party in ramshackle Cherry Grove'. And so it was no surprise to see that the designer's catwalk was made of illuminated tiles, like a disco dancefloor.

There were hints of disco in the clothing; we're lusting after the glittery lurex skinny trousers in baby pink, midnight blue, or dark silver, worn with matching metallic leather chunky heels and ribbed black knits. But like show's The Prodigy soundtrack, the clothes were a little more 1990s than 1970s; think sportswear-as-streetwear with plenty of padded black nylon pieces to beat the harsh New York winter (New York has just recovered from it's latest snow fall); puffy capey coats with wide kimono sleeves, tight little ski jackets, and padded leather legwarmers to turn strappy heels into this winter's least practical footwear.

It's also fair to assume that Wang has been watching HBO's new Prohibition-era drama Broadwalk Empire; there were beautifully tailored cashmere coats in mink grey or pale peach featured furry stand-up collars that spanned the shoulders 1920s style. Wang also reinvented that other 1930s classic - the bias cut evening gown; there were satin bias cut maxi skirts, and asymmetric vest dresses, constructed from ribbons of silk which fluttered apart at the hems, worn with Wang's new knitwear - fluffy angora. The tux had its own section with tuxedo coats and oversized jackets with padded sleeves, worn with sexed-up men's bib-front dress shirts re-cut in sheer black chiffon - perfect with skinny black tuxedo trousers layered over track pants or those fluttery maxi skirts. Continuing the 1930s starlet theme were furry accessories: admittedly nobody needs a pair of peach mink trimmed sunglasses, and the fox-fur trimmed high-heeled sandals were not exactly winter-friendly, but added to the overall theme of a new take on retro glamour.

Wang is opening his first flagship store in Manhattan later this week. This collection won't hit the rails until after the summer, but it's unlikely to stay in store for very long.

- Angela Buttolph


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