Saturday, September 22, 2012

Alexander Wang Spring 2013: The space between.

At the show’s opening, an army of models, all dressed in white, stood black light lit creating a space-aged electric green glow. Obviously, Alexander Wang was taking us on a trip to his own parallel universe. Gone were the downtown hipster T shits and leggings of yesteryear and in marched a vision of a new galaxy of COOL.

His idea was to play with volumes that not so much hew to the body but hover and float around it. He dissected shapes that are the vernacular of American sportswear: T shirt dresses, shorts, shifts and anoraks, but in his hands they were cut into planes that cantilevered by way of invisible fishing line and tiny worms of coiled thread. The effect was arresting and even more astounding as the whole collection pivoted on this technique. His message was clear and he never for a moment wavered….

 Alexander Wang at Hirshleifers ETC

Black, white, sand and silver were the sum total of his palette. Cantilevered leather jackets over crisp white shirts were paired with python skirts using the same floating panel technique. As delicate as these pieces appeared it was clear that they would withstand wear beyond the runway. Hand knit sweaters, one of his trademarks were unexpectedly sexy by way of large cutouts at the sides and peek-a-boo openings at the chest and torso. These sweaters were paired with faux croc skirts made up of individual scales attached to the others by way of invisible threads, like puzzle pieces not quite fitted into place. It was a bravura example of his imagination and technical skill.
Some of the most memorable pieces came near the end in shift dresses that were divided into planes covering the bust, parts of the torso and divided horizontally from hips to hem. Whether by means of fishing line or as appliqu├ęs on an invisible scrim of net, the dresses looked to be held together by his sheer force of will and vision. The show was a huge departure from his recent work and one of the clear standouts of the season. The negative spaces, namely the body beneath, were as artfully displayed as were the garments themselves. Alexander Wang’s spring 2013 collection was a very exciting and inspired New York moment.

Alexander Wang at Hirshleifers ETC

1 comment:

Amber said...

I still feel such a disconnect in his design. I see the growth and maturity in pieces of his throughout the Collection, and then I see the same repetitive shapes and silhouette that we've seen in previous seasons recycled throughout his Collection. It's almost like he reverts back to what he's done so many times before without exploring it. There's something that I feel isn't connecting the way I always hope it will in his garments. They're too boxy, I don't see how the clothes communicate with eachother, there's a fluency that is missing somewhere...Season after season I am frustrated with Alexander Wang because I'll see small sparks of genius, and then they're extinguished by something poorly thought out, and heavy handed. I saw him take strides this season; the hair and makeup were both gorgeous and much less distracting than in seasons before, the heels were beautiful...But I'm still not sold on everything I saw in his Collection. I believe he still has much more maturing to do as a Designer, but I thought by now I would've seen his growth.