Are you ready for Alexander Wang at Balenciaga? Or maybe, the real question should be: are diehard fans of Alexander Wang ready to shell out for his Balenciaga wares?
From the looks that came forth on last night’s runway, the designer is ready, whether you are or not. This is by far the most grown-up and thoughtful collection I’ve seen yet from the sprightly 29-year-old who, just a few years ago, made the slouchy tee-and-combat boot uniform de rigueur for off-duty models.
Wang has moved on from the phrase, but that hasn’t stopped many of us from being vocally doubtful about his ability to take over the storied house of Balenciaga, myself included. But we may have judged too soon. These are strong clothes, with sophisticated, oversized shapes that emanate confidence. Serious without being somber, the Wang woman will need a heady dose of her own confidence to pull off the drop-waist leather skirts and no-nonsense coats. Giant mittens took inspiration from the boxing ring, but the star of the show was texture, from silks and satins to furs, plus splashes of sequins. I left the Cunard Building with a single thought in mind: I simply cannot wait for Paris.