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.