All the cool kids are doing it. Try it — you’ll like it. Just a puff.
Fashion has the ability to transport, and in the case of Alexander Wang’s fall show, it was a trip back to the defiant age of experimental adolescence. Wannabe a smart aleck? Start by staging your fashion salute to youth in revolt in a historic, working church, such as St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal on Park Avenue. It is a beautiful venue, and the ideal foil for a collection for girls who, as Wang’s show notes stated, “ignore outdated taboos, and instead seek what’s off limits.”
But taboos are hard to find these days. Grand Central Station is lined with ads for “period underwear” that illustrate the product with blood orange halves and runny egg yolks. So-called bad taste is a megatrend right now, coursing through fashion up from the street and down from the runways. Wang’s collection, with its mash-up of prim tweed suits and tank dresses subverted by hefty hardware and skimpy hemlines; delicate, sheer tulle tops disrupted with brash censor bars bearing words like “strict” and “tender” across the breasts; and pretty lace insets shaped like marijuana leaves on dresses, was more cute than vulgar. The pink corduroys that riffed on classic prep by replacing polo ponies with strippers on a pole were particularly on-the-nose.
There’s no denying the execution was on point, but the best items didn’t try too hard to be cool. For example, an oversize sweater made of stripes of green and navy angora connected by piercing hardware; a giant jean jacket lined in pink and black fur; a black tweed tank and raw-edged skirt done up in chainlink hardware. The accessories were good, too, including an expansion on Wang’s recently launched jewelry collection with chain-link rhodium earrings and leather-and-rhodium chokers.