Alexander Wang is a good example of just how committed the fashionistas are to the most popular brands. Snow started falling across New York about an hour before the show was scheduled to start. Temperatures dropped quickly and most New Yorkers responded by heading for home and the warmth of the nearest source of radiated heat. Not Wang fans. Nothing could keep them from showing up to this show; it’s a pattern we see with those brands that identify most closely to pop culture and Alexander Wang is among the biggest names of that group.
If one is using popular fashion as a barometer for the culture which it embraces, then things are looking quite dark for this fall, with somber moods and a gothic attitude. A good 90 percent of this collection is black, with enough leather to outfit an entire biker gang. Studded embellishments came heavy and continuously on almost all the pieces, even setting up a quilted pattern on some of the coats. Come on now, when was the last time you saw a heavy metal blanket?
Silhouettes were strongly masculine, starting with tuxedo jackets with broad velvet lapels. Pants were a bit short, hitting mid-calf for the most part, but that was offset by plenty of long coats, tall socks, and Frankenstein-sized boots that are going to make a lot of noise as they go stomping through the house. I feel sorry for anyone who has to endure the sound of those boots across hardwood floors.
There were a couple of non-black pieces in the collection. A red plaid overcoat, oversized and studded to match the collection, was actually rather inviting and would be perfect for the weather currently outdoors. Bone colored cable knit sweaters, also studded, were over light blue crushed velvet pants designed to look like jeans but with much more posh and pseudo-sophistication.
Then, there was the chainmail. When I first saw it coming down the runway, I thought it was plastic; it was giving off that kind of reflective sheen under the lights, and its opacity was almost completely sheer. This is a very small thread chain mail, though, that moves extremely well and is surprisingly light weight. In the real world, assuming any of those pieces actually hit the real world, one is probably going to wear a turtleneck or some other warm piece under these looks because they are just too drafty as shown, even though the look is quite alluring.
Final pieces were also the least practical, with shimmery metallics mixed with broad fur collars that dramatically contrasted the leather and metal theme of the collection. Don’t expect to see those on store shelves this fall.
Hair was dramatically plastered to the head with strands trailing down in front of the face, a look we saw three or four times last season. Makeup was dark and moody to fit the theme. Neither were terribly surprising nor impressive.
Alexander Wang is a popular enough brand that one can be sure these are looks that we will see incorporated into personal styles this fall. Head-to-toe looks probably won’t happen as it is just a bit much for anyone out in the real world. Goth looks are fun for clubbing and comic conventions, but they just don’t play well on the street. Individually, though, the pieces work very well on their own and will merge with most any young adult’s wardrobe.
While the collection may be a bit much for anyone over 30 (there were some interesting comments hitting twitter during the show), Wang presents a look that resonates with the millennial generation as well as those coming up behind them. Given there are more millennials than baby boomers now, sounds like a brilliant move for a designer to make.