Alexander Wang AW16 report New York Womenswear

Hold him tender: Wang takes his newfound skills to the street
© Catwalking.com

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Puff puff, pass.

Just four months after Alexander Wang took his final bow at Balenciaga, showing a collection for the Parisian house in front of pools in the shape of a giant cross, he was back in church.

But gone were the iconography and all-white silhouettes. Mr Wang’s girls stomped down the Park Avenue church runway seemingly liberated from the demands of his former employer. A sheer black top with frayed cuffs and the word “strict” covering the breasts was paired with a black and white marijuana leaf motif print on a skirt pierced with metal rings — a nod to Denver and Portland, where pot is now legal — and stockings that replaced a garter with the word “tender”.

Models were sweaty and unkempt. How much of it was vulgar just for the sake of being? Some, but the grunge and rock nod that has gained traction at a number of smaller labels already this season was nonetheless the work of some talent. The three-year stint at Balenciaga has paid dividends.

Tweed suit sets in black and white with leather triangle patches, armbands and black piping were cool; this was not your mother’s fussy Chanel suiting. Pink corduroys replaced the traditional Polo pony with a stripper and her pole while jeans were completely tattered. Hemlines were kept short.

In his show notes, Wang said he wanted to blend the “saccharine innocence with subversive rebellion”. He may have taken you to the chapel, but he’d like you to ask for another hit.

For more reports from the shows, go to our fashion weeks page

Photographs: Catwalking

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