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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Alexander Wang: A Tough Take on New Romantics

15 Февраля 2015


Rage radiated from every metal stud, glimmering on collars, coat fronts, dresses, bags, and clumpy don’t-mess-with-me boots. As the Alexander Wang show rose to an aggressive crescendo, even a chocolate from mom and dad Kim Kardashian and Kanye West could not calm baby North. 


Yet surely it was all a game? The sullen-faced models with strands of wet-look hair tangling over angry faces should have been proud to wear such striking and subtly-worked clothes. Even the hard metal panels encasing the walls of the East River pier came in waves — the better to match the body-skimming silhouettes of the outfits. 


Was it aggression — or entertainment? 

“It was meant to be fun!” said Wang backstage, after his familiar gallop down the runway, his straight black hair flying behind him. “I always use polarity codes — New Romantic versus hard edges, a bit of Victoriana,” he continued, referring to dark dresses in plush velvet, although those gentle beauties were followed by bodices that caged the body. 


Wang is such a powerful designer because he is energetic, purposeful, and has a vision that could come only from someone young enough to put forward his take on references from the past. 


The collection is best described as a mash-up of the brash 1980s, with elements from other decades — not to mention the Victorians. So, giant shoulders puffed out with fur, while sleek pantsuits had cropped jackets like a barman’s, with brass buttons and a fob chain as decoration. The hardwear might be lines of metal studs or metallic clips — appearing mostly on black — but a scarlet plaid with a punk feel then took over the palette. 


Wang was right to talk about contrasts: of furry surfaces and heavy metal; mesh caging the body in contrast to velvet. And, as ever, when a young designer re-invents the past, the feeling was fresh, funky, and forceful.


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