There’s so much hype surrounding New York fashion’s poster boy, Alexander Wang, that it’s hard to separate the talk from the substance. A packed house filled with star-studded guests waited in darkness for the late-running show to punch in, and when a stadium-facing screen finally lit up, guests tensed in anticipation of Wang’s 10th anniversary presentation. Expectations were certainly high — this show was not only a celebratory milestone for his label, but it was also competing with Wang’s final presentation for Balenciaga. As annual revenues at Wang’s eponymous label continue to climb, it became urgent for him to jump ship at Balenciaga in order to refocus his energy at home. What he came up with for Spring/Summer 2016, however, fell short of the mark.
First out was a shrunken white tank and a pair of low-slung, wide-leg, striped trousers, signifying adherence to Wang’s urban-cool aesthetic. Stripes were a big theme on the runway, and made an appearance on everything from oversized outerwear and glossy leather-striped flared trousers to leather racing jackets and board shorts. None of these looks felt particularly inventive or new, but rather were a limited update on street style trends. Shredded jean shorts and split-front maxi skirts felt like thrift-store finds, but you can bet the price tag won’t match. Mesh and khaki pairings fared better and were a soft-and-hard combination that the young and the androgynous will snap up quickly. The root problem in the collection was a lack of cohesion — styles were all over the place and it’s hard to see how this will translate to wearability. Wang showed pajama suiting, motocross jackets, flat-footed sandals, duster vests, and hoodies, sometimes all at once. There were a few artful looks that saved the day, like a fringed black dress with a sculpted and embroidered corset bodice and a relaxed royal-blue maxi tank dress with white contrast trim. The collection’s theme was ‘Hit the Reset Button’, but this might be advice better applied to the messy situation on Wang’s runway.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree