FADER NYFW, Spring 2014
The biggest talking point leading up to Alexander Wang’s spring ‘14 show was how much attention he would be able to give his namesake label after being hired as Balenciaga’s creative director. Wang’s predecessor at the Paris house, Nicolas Ghesquière, recently -- and not without controversy -- lamented how exhausting and limiting the position is: “I began to feel as though I was being sucked dry, like they wanted to steal my identity while trying to homogenise things.” Wang’s collection, which debuted Saturday evening, felt like a preemptive strike against that critique: He greeted the skeptics with a parade of super luxe-detailed pieces that both flaunted his primary label’s name and showed he’s not short on fresh ideas.
While other designers have been mining the ‘90s for the past few seasons, Wang’s spring collection is the most modern take yet -- in part because he’s the first of his class to touch on the era’s logomania and excess. Leather dresses and trench coats, knits, and elbow-length gloves came perforated with “Alexander Wang” on repeat, cut so finely that they demand a zoom button. Using the decade as a design prompt instead of revival, Wang also sent out his models in sleek Mary Janes, crop tops with asymmetrical overlay, actually-palatable culottes in silky leather, a babydoll dress reimagined with an empire peplum waist, and tops stamped with the CD warning sticker “Parental Advisory Explicit Content”-- which would have appeared on the pared down remix for Pharoahe Monch’s 1999 single “Simon Says” that soundtracked most of the show. Ten years after its release, the sales for luxury goods bearing logos tanked, but judging by the look of Wang’s spring collection, a comeback is imminent.