For his first resort collection for Balenciaga, Alexander Wang took the design staff to Spain’s coastal Basque country, where they were privy to vintage Cristóbal Balenciaga designs that were not in the Paris archive. This resort backstory was delivered via Lionel Vermeil, head of Balenciaga’s public relations, who narrated a runway show in New York on Wednesday, for which Wang was not present. While Vermeil did the talking, missing no opportunity to invoke the name “Cristóbal,” Wang’s collection spoke for itself. A fresh, modern interpretation of house codes — the famous volume was collapsed into mild curves and origami folds down the back of shirts and dresses and “wing” effects tracing cropped pants and shorts. By taking the air out of some the house signatures, Wang brought the structural grandeur down to earth without sacrificing sophistication. He worked in black, white and gray with graphic touches, including Cristóbal’s scribble and “noise” patterns that were spun into black and white prints and embroideries on double-layered dresses — a structured, form-fitting bodice with a soft silk underlayer. There were bandeau boleros shown with boyish shorts and rounded coats with closures that looked like safety pins but were actually buttons. For accessories, Wang cribbed from the old school, reworking retro phone cords — land line! — into coiled bracelets, earrings and the straps on sandals that featured shredded vinyl on the vamp, an effect also used on hats.

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