White-out at Alexander Wang. Literally. I know it was his inspiration and that there would be no black in this collection, but I didn’t exactly expect this. It’s almost like he was inspired to design various painter overalls, clean or otherwise. This collection was great depart from his normal aesthetic certainly, but I like it anyway. I actually like it a lot better than his Fall 2010 collection. Alexander Wang may be the king of the club scene, but he’s not opposed to moving in a cleaner direction. And it’s not like he’s losing any of his edge. As Derek Blasberg pointed out, if you could describe this collection in one word, it’d be nose-rings. A surprising amount of models have pierced noses, which is interesting considering they’re supposed to be blank slates for casting directors (there I said it Fashionista, but probably not in the context you predicted).
Wang also have a habit of opening with the next great newcomer. Last year it was Mirte Mass, this year baby-faced Britt Maren (just above, left). I love the outfit he had her in. The awesomeness is all in the details. The slightly sheer paneling with that one strap hanging down. It’s that one strap that really pulled the look together for me. The thing about Alexander Wang is that everything seems perfectly basic except for one sneaky little quirk of perfection. Take his famous Tees. Perfectly worn in, ultra soft, and that one little pocket in front.
Can you believe that the models had no makeup on whatsoever? Just bleached brows and moisturizer (M.A.C. Studio Moisture Fix in fact). It’s kinda frightening in fact. That models are that flawless close-up, even with the crazy pixel heavy, HD-obsessed technology world today. Astonishing really.
And while this is a great depart from his urban street fashion style, this is very much an Alexander Wang Collection. It reads his personality all over it. It’s in the frayed edges, the sporty wedges, the unusual mix of fabric, the sharp accessories, and the light biker shorts peeking out. Though, I am told that this is a reconstruction of the heydey of the nineties with “the cutaway, layered, street-casual clothes invented by Helmut Lang and Ann Demeulemeester” (Thanks Vogue). However, as I was born in 1990 (as with most of the models walking in this show, including Britt) this is news to me :) And while editors and critics may grumble that this is recycling the nineties, I’m sure that Wang-ettes, including myself, will champion it anyway. The power of Alexander Wang is that he reaches beyond the runway. He is a street-style based designer and he manages to bring it back to the source. Many have strived but few have reached his level of success, especially for one so young. And as Vogue puts it, “in an industry which endlessly recycles its own past (and meanwhile, often struggles to communicate to the “real” world) it’s curmudgeonly to begrudge Wang credit for that.” That is that.