It feels like another lifetime, but it was only a few years ago that 4 Times Square was the iconic ivory tower of elite glossy publishing that Condé Nast called home. Now much of it is empty office space. By using it as the set of his fall show, Alexander Wang gave critics of last season’s Wangfest fiasco what they wanted — a centrally located venue and a show at a decent hour that started in a timely fashion — while also bringing them back to a place that represented high times in fashion and publishing gone by. No one who had once passed through those doors professionally, even if they’re still among the dwindling ranks employed at Condé, missed that point.
Wang enjoys giving a ribbing, and this one was fun to watch even if it felt the joke was gently directed at our side of the industry. The runway was set on the 21st floor, cutting through cubicles under flickering fluorescent lights. Were those the ghosts of Condé Nasties past clacking their stilettos on the soundtrack?
Wang stocked the collection, his strongest in a little while, with symbols of what made late 20th-century corporate life sweet. There were nods to Nineties nylon Prada backpacks; giant plastic hair clips and platinum cards. Remember expense accounts? Those were the days.
The models were dressed as power b—hes in tailored jackets, sheer black stockings and pumps that melded the “The Matrix” with a little throwback Armani and Chanel and Robert Palmer. But it was modern and topical, too. Whether wearing a simply irresistible black blazer dress with zippers bursting around the waist, a shiny leather jacket with anatomical seams around the bust, a pink fitted jacket over black leather track pants or faux fur-trimmed branded loungewear, the women looked prepared to annihilate any misogynist in their way.