“Everyone is kind of looking at the same things right now,” said Alexander Wang during a preview of his fall collection. He was talking specifically about the fabric market, which can be limited to the flat, lasered and Neoprene materials that have come to define “modern” in materials technology. His desire to resist the sameness drove him to the warm embrace of all things fuzzy: mohair, alpaca, astrakhan and anything that reminded him of hair.
Rich with unexpected texture and copious proportion, the collection was the opposite of the precise, minimal line Wang has tread recently — and it was all the more interesting and, in a way, edgier for it. There was a major outerwear story with brushed denim trousers and knit skirts as the underlayers. Roomy coats in gray mélange fur, alpaca and leather were shaped by thick folds, whether exaggerated lapels or tucks that created a rounded shoulder and tapered sleeve and — coincidentally or otherwise — hinted at Balenciaga. Many of the coats were dark and aggressive to a degree, especially those worked in robust leather, but beautiful too. Wang handled the volume and fabric density with elegance, as in a gorgeous coat that was navy on top, black on the bottom, with a side zipper.
Wang’s other major motif was a riff on the tuxedo in duchesse satin. A white jumpsuit with a plunging V-neck was shown with a fuzzy knitted gray shrug — his version of a fur stole.
Wang likes to play, and he got in some styling kicks; his models wore red ponytails pulled through holes in the backs of tight knitted hoods. Some outfits were finished with gigantic fur gloves that looked like opera-length boxing mitts, and there were a couple of sweaters with an iridescent shine — the effect of encasing mini polarized sunglass lenses inside mohair. Such elements provided moments of fun without masking the increased maturity Wang revealed in this collection. It suited him well and whetted the fashion appetite for what he might serve up later this month in Paris.