Alexander Wang‘s 10th anniversary collection was a return to Wang’s street inspirations. It had that downtown cool feeling that made Wang a star in the first place. Now that Wang has announced his imminent departure from Balenciaga, he seems to have the freedom to let loose and return to his roots. That translated from the clothes to the front row (Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, Kanye, etc.) to the after-party, which was sponsored by Hooters and included performances by Tinashe, Ludacris, Lil’ Wayne, and A$AP Rocky, and ahem…stripper poles…but we’ll get to that later.
The clothing felt very now, which is to say it had that mix of early 90s references and raver-inspired elements mixed with a hip-hop and grunge vibe. It’s the kind of thing that VFiles, also known for having their eye on youth culture, has been touting since its inception, but what Wang does is take that cultural movement and translate it into sellable pieces for a broader audience. There were all of the pieces that his downtown set craves: leather jackets, crop tops, leather pants, army jackets, and ripped jean shorts. The latter came worn over men’s boxer shorts. Then of course, there was the focus on Wang’s bread and butter: accessories. We’ll take those studded slip ons, please! Meanwhile his Adidas-inspired sneakers, the studded platforms, the chain sandals, and chain jewelry are sure to appeal to Wang’s legions of cooler than thou PYTs.
The show closed with a video montage to Wang’s decade long career as the arbiter of downtown New York cool. The video was played across a screen that ran the length of the runway. “I always had the fantasy of working in fashion,” said Wang in the video. “I never thought it would take me this far, so soon.” Towards the end of the film he adds, “It’s not worth it, if your not having fun and not getting to enjoy it.” If last night signaled anything for Wang, it was a return to fun. We asked several people in the crowd what fashion would be like without Wang and every single person had one response, “boring”.