11 February 2013

Alexander Wang Autumn 2013: A New Direction For The New York Designer

In what must have been one of the most hotly anticipated shows of the season since his appointment to Balenciaga, Alex Wang certainly did not disappoint with a sophisticated and ultra-modern collection that appealed to a much broader client base than his usual 'too cool for school' downtown urbanite.

There was a real sense that this was a collection that was intended to announce a new era for Wang. By showing in a new palatial venue rather than the cold industrial warehouse space he has used for all of his previous outings, he created a warmer, more intimate backdrop for what was also a warmer and softer collection than we have seen from him in recent years.

Coats, pants and sweaters were all fashioned out of varying shades of grey, fuzzy felt and wool, luxuriously accented and interspersed with rust or charcoal dyed cowhide. Some of these coats had '1920's era' dropped waists whilst the trouser, skirt, sweater combos had mannish and slouchy silhouettes, almost evoking Amelia Earhart re-imagined for the 21st Century - especially with the balaclava style headgear and cropped windbreaker bomber jackets that punctuated the collection.

The overall mood was less body conscious and youth-culture biased than we are familiar with from the young Mr. Wang; suggesting that he has decided to widen his appeal, create more investment pieces rather than 'one season wonders', and re-establish himself as a designer that has women of all ages in mind - perhaps a signifier of what we can come to expect from his design ethos at Balenciaga where he will be naturally eager to make his mark. After all, Nicolas Ghesquiere has left some very big boots to fill.

by Andrew Holden in New York


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