If there was one designer name that was on everyone’s lips this week, it was Alexander Wang. Since his last runway show, Wang had been named the creative director at Balenciaga, succeeding Nicolas Ghesquière. What followed was months of endless speculation as the fashion world wondered what Wang would be bringing to the table in Paris and how he would step up to the challenge of mastering two entirely different collections.
The answer came in the form of arm-length mohair knit boxing gloves. No, we’re not kidding. For his last standalone runway show before his first collection at Balenciaga, Wang proved to be ready for battle, the final showdown if you will, with a collection that looked towards boxing for inspiration. A remix of “Eye of the Tiger,” the theme song from Rocky III, blarred throughout the Cunard Building, as the models entered the ring in what was surely a taste of the Parisian couture elements to come two weeks from now.
Before we get to the clothes though, lets talk models! Wang is well known for his inventive casting, having tapped big names like Liberty Ross, Gisele Bündchen, Karolina Kurkova and Shalom Harlow to walk in his previous runway shows. Although those superstar names were missing from this season’s lineup, the Wang cast certainly didn’t disappoint. Perhaps making a slight reference to his Balenciaga appointment, Wang scored ten of the top models who walked in Balenciaga’s show last Fall including Julia Nobis, Jamie Bochert, Sam Rollinson, Kasia Struss, Caroline Brasch Nielsen and Maria Bradley. Rounding out the Fall cast was also Hanne Gaby Odiele, Melagosa Bela, Marie Piovesan and one of our Top 10 Fresh Face picks, Alana Bunte!
But now, back to the clothes. The focus was on outerwear, with pieces that came in drop-waists, 1920’s style silhouettes that were given added bulk with mohair shrugs and knitted caps tucked under thick snoods. Looking to stray from his modern sportswear-chic aesthetic of seasons past, Wang was influenced by roundness and blurriness this season— an image that came into full effect with a heavy use of textures. The color palette consisted of touches of white, black and navy, with the bulk of the pieces came in various shades of grey. Chubby mohair and alpaca knits were paired with leather skirts and matching hairy sweatpants, while round-shoulder tops were worn with either straight-line trousers or below-the-knee pleated skirts. It was the evening-wear lineup that proved to be Wang’s strong point this season including a deep V-neck white jumpsuit in duchesse satin, jumpers and skirts adorned with a gridded sequin design and collared, oragami-folded tops with plunging backs.
Only time will tell what Wang at Balenciaga will really look like, but judging by the designer’s latest New York collection, it is sure to be full of surprise and intrigue.