Textures, fabrics and textiles is the holy mantra in fashion today. 'Fabrics' is arguably where all the action is happening. Speak to a member of any large brand whose job it is to research and develop fabrics and the leaps in technology mean that this is kind of where the rock'n'roll is really at. Looking at this entire Alexander Wang collection as a whole you just want it to hit the racks so that you can hold it, scrunch it and get tactile with the weight and finish. How would the fish scale jumper feel against the skin? How do the suede pockets feel as the material splices to leather? How stiff is the ribbed leather to walk in?
'Extreme fabric manipulation' and the tension between 'opposing elements' read the show-notes. No kidding with materials such as lacquered tweed, waxed suede and knits bonded to leather all present. Skirts were made of feathery chiffon and thick buffed leather. Leather dresses tailored to mould the body like body armour gave way to gathered suede that falls gently from the hip as if like cotton. These are all curious garments that you just want to try on to see for yourself how these opposing elements feel on the body.
Leather and animal hyde appear across the board for men and women this season, buffed and liquid leather being two big trends; Wang proposes dresses and coats in all. By choosing colours such as blood ox, ion, carbon black, sulfur and iodine the vibe is quite gothic, quite tough while tailored evening jackets are streamlined with invisible fastening. At Alexander Wang the limits between sportswear and designer clothing are being pushed to break barriers much like a formula one race-car but happily with this male designer it does feel that it is women who are in the driving seat, he's empowering not punitive in his quest to fulfill his creative potential.
- Sarah Hay