Before viewing Wang's show via live stream, I was quite anxious to see what he's been up to. For one, because he's an incredibly talented designer, and two because in just about three weeks we will see his debut collection for Balenciaga. After a few minutes of the show, I couldn't help but think that this collection was perhaps gearing the onlookers - but mostly Mr. Wang - for a new chapter of his career.
The collection consisted stuck mostly in the grey and black palette, exuding a fog-like mentality that represented the blurring of tradition (or at least to me it did). Wang harvested a collection mainly of outerwear: large coats that weren't unlike the drop-waist ones to be found on a Charles Lindbergh or Amelia Earhart type. Nevertheless, inspiration was drawn from boxing - this sense of reaction. Explains the furry gloves, no? Anyone else predict the Russian Mafia ( Mira Duma & Friends) will be wearing those come fall?
Going back to emotions, I felt a slight disconnect when watching this show. It didn't feel like Alex to me. And despite the awesome sweatshirts of angora-looking fabric, or the slit-at-the-shoulder satin t-shirts, it missed much of the street element that so greatly defines Wang's design aesthetic. Perhaps that was just his point, though, to venture away from the young, downtown cool in order to parlay into the formality of Parisian fashion.
Conceptually, the collection was brilliant, many of the pieces were good - but will it be as sellable as past collections. As I watch a collection, I go through the looks and see which pieces I can see on which clients, or deviate if they'll be sold out. Well, those last satin pieces (namely that last white jumpsuit/pantsuit) will be sold, perhaps the knit mule wedges, or the furry gloves. I just hope this position at Balenciaga will compromise the aesthetic of Wang's namesake collections.