It was an evening in homage of Alexander Wang as the designer celebrated 10 years in the business on day four of New York Fashion Week.
By Christopher Prince
2015 has been the year of the designer anniversary. We witnessed a best of 10-year tribute at Riccardo Tisci’s Pier 26 show for Givenchy, and it’s something we’ll see again when Philip Lim stages his upcoming collection this week. Last night however was all about Alexander Wang and his decade-long career at his namesake label.
The wardrobe of Wang’s urban tomboy has seen an evolution. Classic sportswear pieces associated with American fashion have been treated with a new type of New York grunge by the designer over the past decade, and this was the case for this season’s spring/summer 2016 collection.
While Tisci re-referenced the past, Wang sought out a new dynamic approach in his fabled sportswear aesthetic. Wang noted that he wanted his models to look like they were wearing their own clothes to a casting – a definitive model off-duty look, only elevated with the designer’s innovative fabric treatments.
Normcore has been a term thrown around for the past few seasons, but it was an element that applied to Wang’s selection of mundane everyday garb showcased in this collection. He offered brilliant separates, as usual, with denim, army jackets, track pants and sporty t-shirts reworked in mesh and ribbed knitwear, which allowed the designer’s off-duty vibe to transition from streetwear to high fashion.
A first for Wang was the debut of his menswear line on the runway. It’s been a successful business move adopted by the likes of Riccardo Tisci and Miuccia Prada before, so it only seemed appropriate that New York’s master of the market would eventually catch up. That masculine presence had an effect on his women’s pieces too, introduced by the show’s opener as Lexi Boling donned a strappy crop top and loose trousers crafted from men’s tailoring fabrics.
Last night’s show proved the staying power of the designer’s street, sex and New York grit aesthetic. It was mashed and mixed together in a finale fashion film that projected on the cinematic screen behind the runway, in homage to Wang’s epic legacy, for the whole of New York to see.
See our edit of the most standout looks from Alexander Wang’s 10-year tenure: