From darkness comes light. Or in Alexander Wang’s world, from fall’s dark opium dens and Wall Street Goth girls comes a season of optimism. “I wanted to explore a purity and honesty,” said Wang, preshow. “As you can see, there’s not one hint of black.” And in that manner, he joins the myriad of other designers thus far who are working that buoyant and lightened-up mood on the runways. The point of difference here, chez Wang, is one that’s uniquely his: an added inspiration in construction. “I’m in a constant state of construction,” he joked. To clarify, the designer just added a new floor to his TriBeCa offices, is currently renovating a newly gutted apartment nearby and, of course, has been working on his first retail unit on Grand Street, set to open later this year.
On the most literal level, those notions turned up in the workwear vibe pulsing throughout. Wang riffed on overalls and wide-leg carpenter pants, and added ribbed elastic waistbands to slouchier trousers. Denim jackets came accented with swaths of copper paint, and a flyaway silk trench had utilitarian crisscross straps at the back. And those foil details throughout were a reference to duct tape. If one needed more of a hint, each of his models came accessorized with swipes of white paint (plaster? caulk?) in their hair.
Wang also continued with last season’s deconstruction motif. The result was much layering and ultrarelaxed silhouettes. At times, things turned slightly Japanese (the belted judo jackets and kimono-esque dresses); others, more baggy, hip-hop-style. The effect wasn’t always successful, however, occasionally seeming more haphazard than nonchalant. But on the surprisingly feminine side: those sheer organza button-downs were lovely.
Wang also introduced his first-ever in-house prints — childlike scribbles and doodles done by his staff and interns on a 5-foot-by-5-foot sheet of paper in the studio and reproduced on fabrics in washed-out hues. “There are inside jokes [written] that even I don’t know,” he said.