With each new collection – the preliminary autumn will be the fourth in a row – Alexander Wang gradually reveals more and more his vision of the Balenciaga brand. And, at the same time, the French fashion house is becoming more and more like its chief designer.
So, the new line feels young, short, dark, and surprisingly sporty. Consider, for example, the polyurethane panels (similar to those you see at snowboard parks) on perfectly fitted black gabardine suits . Or the moment when Wang dressed one of the models in a short crepe cocktail dress along with high-laced snow boots.
This is a slightly daring and frivolous decision, but Wang has such a wonderful nature. Moreover, work in a fashion house is full of reverence for its founder. In particular, Wang drew on the legacy of Cristobal Balenciaga in his use of large, “inflated” volumes. Luxurious astrakhan pullover, needle-punched wool and mohair or leather jackets with black knitted scarves and free-form hand-painted black stripes have all been shaped into rigid, cocoon-like silhouettes. And the ecclesiastical nature of the pieces of material resembling wings on the back of velvet tops, or jet-black waistcoat, evoke Cristobal’s interest in monastic robes.
The digital effects—an intarsia sweater with a landscape image woven to resemble a desktop window in the foreground, or pixel art on the waistband of a leather dress—were very Wangian, twenty-first century style. And yet, he understands, and really focuses on the fact that such clothes are most valued in three-dimensional life.
Therefore, details appeared that, for example, looked like those wings on the back of a blazer, or folded stripes on the sleeves of a “hard” wool sweater , the shape of which was “sculpted” by hand. This is probably why the images in his collection catalogs and runway photos are sure to show reflections of clothes shown from different angles.
If there is something that has already taken root in the French fashion house thanks to the American, it is the idea of “sculptural” things, with rigid shapes, sewn from exquisite fabrics, pierced with metal elements – be it buttons or studs – acting as jewels. The oblong wooden buttons of this season, which appeared on coats and jackets, “repeated” among the accessories – look, for example, at the bracelet with a curvilinear, curved metal detail, which was called the “tube bracelet”. It was also the perfect complement to the latest silhouette of the collection: a beautiful formfitting satin evening dress with long sleeves and an open back.