“No interviews,” press was told at Alexander Wang’s runway show in L.A.’s Chinatown on Tuesday night. And no photography.
Journalists were also kept out of the wrap party — open to “friends and family” only — at General Lee’s. Seemingly everyone but media was being let inside the doors of the cocktail bar, however, which was among the businesses in Chinatown Central Plaza included as part of Wang’s “night market.” Shops were open after-hours, allowing wanderers to browse inside, while local food vendors — the Golden Dragon Restaurant, Pearl River Deli and Gigo’s Cafe & Deli, among others — offered bites of dim sum, roasted duck, barbecue skewers and treats like shaved ice and boba.
“Fortune City” was the name of the 51-look presentation, featuring pre-fall and fall 2022. To the beat of FKA Twigs’ “Honda,” the runway show opened with leather and denim looks against a fire-red backdrop, down to the carpet, showered in red floodlights. The set design, showcasing two majestic guardian lions, took inspiration from Chinese banquet halls (an ode to the designer’s Asian American heritage, he was born to Taiwanese parents).
Leather thigh-high boots were paired with micro-mini skirts and long, relaxed leather coats; oversized white button downs with boxy blazers; cropped tops and bodysuits with baggy knee-length shorts. It was an androgynous uniform of indigo, brown and black, in keeping with Wang’s street-sportswear sensibility.
Knitwear was presented as shapewear, with heavy wools made into bike shorts and shrugs. Wang has developed a new wool fabrication with stretch, noted the brand. Then came the mini bodycon dresses in ruffled smocked Lycra, juxtaposed with the hard leather boots (in black and metallic silver). A very pregnant Adriana Lima got the loudest cheers of the night when she strutted out in an all-black version made with a massive belly cut-out.
There were other big-name models walking the show — emerging from the neon storefront of KG Louie Co., the antique and gift shop opened in 1938 — including Candice Swanepoel, Alessandra Ambrosio and newcomer Amelia Gray Hamlin, the 20-year-old daughter of actors Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin, watching proudly from front row.
The VIPs stayed clear of doing interviews, too, likely shying away from having to answer any questions regarding Wang’s sexual misconduct allegations. It was the designer’s first show since June 2019.
The 800-name guest list included rapper Bia, who mingled and posed for cameras with Kimora Lee Simmons; music artists Gunna and CL; newer faces like YouTuber Nikita Dragun and TikToker Noah Beck, as well as “Euphoria” actress Chloe Cherry. There was also model Behati Prinsloo; DJ Peggy Gou; twin sisters Simi and Haze Khadra of Simihaze Beauty; and Rinna’s “Real Housewives” costar Erika Jayne (currently making headlines for her own legal troubles).
“I clocked it,” Jayne told Stephanie Shepherd. “I said, ‘That’s Stephanie, and there’s something on that left hand.'”
Shepherd, the former personal assistant to Kim Kardashian, held up the bling on her ring finger: “Always watching.”
For his return, Wang brought a charitable element to the event, donating an undisclosed amount to the Los Angeles Chinatown Corporation, which works to preserve the historic Chinese architecture of the city. All proceeds from sales of a limited-edition T-shirt series will also go toward the cause.
Back on the runway, Wang ended with his latest take on athleticwear: roomy velvet tracksuits in red and black. And for the finale, gowns in white jersey with Madame Grès-inspired draping.
He closed with the thumping sounds of Black Box’s “Everybody Everybody (Le Freak Mix)” as a rain of red confetti covered the crowd.