Alexander Wang, SS14
At 5PM EST today the Alexander Wang show went off, made available to those in the physical and fans over the internet. As you might imagine, I was a net participant (cue my tweet about "viewing #nyfw from afar for the billionth time").
In recent collections - and more so in conjunction with his work for Balenciaga - Wang has grown up. He has since strayed from the denim tuxedo and utter basics of his earliest collections, opting for a selection of debatably more sophisticated materials and silhouettes. Nevertheless, he stays with the now-ubiquitous raison d'etre of the brand: a place in between model off duty, a sporting event, and the streets of New York. Isn't that, though, just the mix of street-style? I digress.
To be entirely honest, while his collections for Balenciaga have become increasingly better, I feared that he might be compensating in his collections for his namesake label. With fall, we saw a collection made almost entirely of conservative wool coats, and I was entirely ready to give up what I had grown to love about Wang. This collection, though, was a complete exercise in the reinvestment of faith - and, more importantly, that Mr. Wang can handle (wonderfully, I might add) the pressures of two very different brands.
This season, Mr. Wang explored the ingenious idea of self-branding. Self-branding has been in the fashion limelight for some years now with the emergence of the blogger, but Mr. Wang managed to explore the side of branding that dealt more with the designer of today. This dialogue hasn't yet been as exhausted as the aforementioned, so the collection helped to open the door for new conversation. Self-branding for a designer has undoubtedly come - in recent years - in the form of t-shirt. Yet, we can't help but reminisce about the fact that that very same branding adorned the t-shirts of the 90s. Think Tommy Hilfiger sport shirts, Claudia Schiffer in Chanel tees, and Kate Moss in Calvin Klein ads. And this is exactly what Wang grew up with. As he relays to critic Nicole Phelps: "That was the height of me in high school, reading and obsessing over [magazines] and being a fashion geek".
Today, fashion is equally obsessed with the t-shirt, what with the likes of the enumerable amounts of fashion puns (see: 'Ballinciaga' and 'Hotmes'), along with Givenchy shirts that retail for around $600. But back to Wang, though.
The beginning of the show was marked with wonderful, mini tennis skirts and crisp shirts in blues, white, and hints of pastel purple. Then came the lovely scrub/hospital-like dresses, which I am still trying to decode - thoughts? And where does all of the self-branding come into play? In the last, more evening gown equivalents of the collection, no less. In between the layers of pleated skirt, the laser-cut leather wide belts and waistlines spelled out ALEXANDER WANG many times over. Shameless promotion, maybe, but he managed to disguise it in a way that looked like a sophisticated adornment rather than the blatant naming of brand-on-tee.
To put it simply, he knows what he's doing. He continues to push the limits as to how far he can take his initial DNA on his journey into adulthood, and high fashion.
------ALL PHOTOS VIA STYLE.COM --------
On another note: you'll most likely find me in pinstripe boxers come spring.
Posted by Emma at 9/08/2013 09:29:00 AM