With his 10th anniversary barely in the rear view, Alexander Wang is taking a moment to assess his brand identity. Pre-fall started with a conversation with his team, “Who are we as a brand? What is our mission? What do we represent?” Wang asked during a preview the day before his press presentation.
The point of this line of questioning was to find a way the company can effectively and authentically deliver the holistic vision Wang has in mind. “I hate to say the cliché, but it’s mixing high and low,” he said. “I want it to be the way I dress and the way I see my friends dress.”
Three solid brand values were distilled — the tension of masculinity and femininity; a sense of irony; hardware — to form the parameters within which T-shirts, jeans and a multithousand dollar fur coat can all happily coexist in the same collection.
Wang said his trio of pillars overrode the need for a thematic concept, but if there was one to be discerned, it was subverted bourgeois. From afar, the clothes had a classically feminine, ladylike air. Up close, what appeared to be a neat tweed jacket was a hybrid tweed and leather moto; a vampy pencil skirt featured keyhole cutouts at the top of the slits; riffs on argyle sweaters had images of pole dancers in place of the traditional diamond pattern.
The refined vamp was new, interesting territory for Wang, and his execution was on point. Silhouettes and fabrications remained elevated, while, true to form, his use of irony and hardware brought the look down to a very sophisticated street level. A new handbag range, the Attica collection, launching with four styles for pre-fall, indicated that ladylike edge is a new standard at the house of Wang. The shapes are understated and refined — a simple crossbody; a streamlined top handle — but for their hardy chain and lock details, which were only natural. As for the Attica handle, those with more than passing knowledge of the deadly 1971 riots the New York prison are aware that the incident doesn’t make for a light fashion reference. But Wang liked that “it felt irreverent,” he said. “I just like the sound of the name. Really there wasn’t a big deep concept behind it.”