It was refreshing to see more of Alexander Wang in his Balenciaga resort collection, not only because, for the first time since arriving at the house, he was present for the pre-collection runway show, but also aesthetically in the clothes. The lineup took inspiration from sailing — sails, ropes, braiding, raincoats and rubber boots — which often manifests as preppy, but not on Wang’s watch.

His maritime notions were slicked in a combination of French chic and minimal, tomboy street. There was a little nautical navy, but mostly black: a beautiful A-line black leather coat bonded to navy jersey; a strapless dress that was ivory canvas at the top and black duchesse satin on the bottom; a strapless black crepe romper with a contrast pink silk band around the bust; black calfskin galoshes with colorful python soles.

After the show, Wang said he wanted to bring a “youthful essence” to the line, breaking with the traditional Balenciaga symmetry and architecture by cutting away from the body and introducing a fluidity with scarf details, such as silk shirts with streaming, asymmetric hemlines. Still anchored in Balenciaga purity, the collection caught a fresh breeze.

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