New York Fashion Week: Alexander Wang's dreamy white-out
A new generation of designers has turned the page in New York, and Alexander Wang is the leader of the pack. His runway show on Saturday had all the energy and anticipation of a Marc Jacobs show. Except that Wang (who more than almost any other designer working here today) really designs for the way young people dress today in that he has a point of view, but more than that -- it's about picking out the pieces and making them your own.
His knockout spring show was about rebirth. If his fall collection was all about deconstruction, with Wall Street banker suits ripped apart at the seams, this one was about reconstruction, with all the requisite carpenter pants, drafting doodles and paint splatter-like prints that go with it.
Is it any wonder that his set piece was a bizarre sculpture that resembled an overgrown larvae?
The look was about white-on-white multi-textural layering -- a sheer scribble print organza button-down shirt under a carpenter vest with a silver foil strip reminiscent of Duct tape down the side; and parachute pants with knit boy shorts peeking out. (We're lucky that's all that was peeking out, if Wang has spent any time with construction workers!)
A paneled vest with a foiled lapel was expertly constructed and worn over sheer pajama pants and a terry sweater. Wang had lots of new ideas -- an easy-fitting, doodle-print washed silk shirt dress in a fresh, ankle-grazing length; loose Carpenter pants cropped just below the knee and worn with knit leggings peeking out of the bottom. (Could this finally be the end of skinny pants?)
And yet, each piece was special enough to stand on its own, including a "knitted rubber" raffia jacket so extraordinary looking, it could have been couture.
Wang ended with several riffs on the trench coat in light-as-air white silk viscose, the best with extended wing flaps that made you wonder whether the model could have taken flight.
It was a triumphant moment for the designer, and one that felt particularly poignant on this date in New York City, Sept. 11.
-- Booth Moore
Photo: A creation from Alexander Wang's spring-summer 2011 collection. Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For the Times.