By  on February 12, 2011

A GQ menswear win. A new flagship boutique. What’s next for Alexander Wang? “Extreme sportswear,” said the designer, who brought that notion beautifully to the urban streets. This is Wang circling back to his edgy, tough-chic — and mostly black! — turf after a brief respite. But he doesn’t step and repeat. He took his production to a new level — squares of light pulsing dramatically on the runway — which read more powerhouse and polished than party. Fall was Wang at his most laser-focused, mature and construction-savvy yet.Pre-show, the designer noted he wanted to “poke fun at luxury and decadence.” And what’s more luxe and decadent than formal attire? Wang deconstructed that notion with an additional Arctic snow-bunny motif, creating a slew of inventive hybrid garments. Tuxedo pants zipped open on the sides to reveal track pants beneath. (They’re also lightly padded for a ski pant feel.) He melded parka with moto jacket, jazzed up with a tailcoat in the back. Peacoats wed winter puffers. An oversize blazer came cut in mink. Meanwhile, the evening portion riffed off the traditional bib dress shirt — redone as sheer blouses and smocks — as well as the cummerbund. That’s what all those gorgeous finale gowns, with flyaway streamers, were about. “It’s the idea of the cummerbund falling apart,” said Wang. As for the endless permutation of ponchos, they’re the edgiest offerings this side of the Andes.One of the season’s major motifs was Wang’s subtle patchworking, which created degrade-like blends of mismatched fabrics in, for example, the angora and satin poncho. There’s news behind this: it’s the designer’s first season manufacturing knitwear in Italy. Wang got cheeky with the accessories as well. His models sported eyewear with fluffy mink straps (“it hints on the idea of an earmuff”) and dainty mules covered in fox fur. On the latter, he remarked, “it’s the rich bitch housewife.”

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