When embracing the obvious, it’s wise to take a contrarian approach. “As everyone knows, there’s an infatuation with sneakers right now,” said Alexander Wang before his show, which was all about sneakers without showing any actual tennis shoes, trainers, what have you. Here, Wang reimagined them as clothes. (The models wore heels.)
The show was a solid Wang performance. The line offered what one wants out of a sneaker: some fashion, flashy function and a baseline of comfort. Wang thought of it, as he often does, from a generational perspective, his peers belonging to the group that grew up obsessed with iconic, cult-sneaker styles. What would a Stan Smith look like as a dress? Pretty cute, it turns out, in white with a perforated flared skirt and molded, mesh bodice with a lace-up collar and green neckline. The classic Adidas Original tennis shoe was but one — and the most kitschy — of several that Wang played with. He wouldn’t name specific brands and styles (no doubt he didn’t want to ruffle legalistic feathers), but one could intuit a New Balance moment in the group of subdued grays, such as tight therms and stretch track pants.
It goes without saying that the overarching theme was sporty — the silhouettes were streamlined, sculpted to the body in athletic curves and treated with all kinds of fun, technical fabrications sprung from the language of sneakers: the barcodes from underneath the tongue decorated tailored black-and-white riffs on tuxedos; a gray shift was embroidered to look like a lug sole. But there was also a sleek romance to the collection. Wang name-checked Madame Grès. and closed the show with a series of bare, molded bodices crafted from colorful plissés and pleats worn with high-waisted black satin pants that buttoned up the sides.
For the record, Wang was wearing Nikes.