Alexander Wang Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 New York

No one would argue that designer Alexander Wang has quite a lot on his plate. Between the demands of his signature label, accessories lines, secondary lines…oh and there is that new gig as the creative director at Balenciaga, it is understandable that the multitasking dynamo might want to take a closer look at the codes he has created for his house. With this spring/summer ’14 show he brushed off those staple features in a significant way taking an x-ray and laser focus approach to his sporty style.

In a vast pitch black space on the New York piers Wang, created a graphic backdrop for his collection. Giant white grid scaffolding that brought to mind oversized Tetris blocks loomed above the audience seated along what seemed to be a never ending white zigzagging line.

The x-ray element of the collection came in how Wang showed almost mirror image outfits on his catwalk, a sartorial yin and yang that saw a pleated pinafold dress first in black and then in white, ditto for the feather light argyle sweaters (one with sleeves, one without) and some standout jackets –again in black or white- each edged in the opposing color for a great graphic effect.

There was a clear focus on usurping the power of menswear fabrics and giving them a sexy slant in the short stiff cotton babydoll dresses with a slit open at the black like some stylish version of a hospital gown. Or even more provocatively, tops cut open down the front and worn with shorts that were kissing cousins to men’s boxers.

Clearly Wang wanted to provoke his audience a bit. The “Parental Advisory” logo (so famously added to music CDs in the late 80s) cut from jacquard to band across a model’s bosom said as much.  

But what resonated most loudly in this show was the designer’s update on the fashion world’s logomanina moment at the turn of the millennium. The Alexander Wang logo became the foundation of a large portion of this collection. The two names repeated over and over again in a “all work and no play makes jack a dull boy” repetition down the body of a trench coat or laser cut into lace mesh-like tops. Hi moniker also showed up on perforating gloves, and even stacked on top of each other on pleated skirts.

Wang showed his designer skills via the many fabric techniques he used to brand all of his pieces (bonding, printing, embroidery). But if the designer might still subconsciously need to identify his work so strongly, the fashion world does not. His talents speak loud and clear on their own. No need to spell it out.

- Jessica Michault

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