Alexander Wang need not say much. The designer, who has been working and reworking 1990s grunge for the last two years, left it to Drake and hip-hop artist Future as thousands of invited guests waited for the unveiling of his spring summer 2017 collection at a pier on Manhattan’s far west side late on Saturday evening. “I got a really big team and they need some really big rings,” the music blared before the show began. That he does.
Mr Wang coaxed out more than just celebrities such as Madonna and Nicky Minaj for his latest showing. McDonald’s provided the cheeseburgers and 7-Eleven the Slurpees after Mr Wang showed a surprise collaboration with Adidas, in a finale full of slightly tweaked versions of the sportswear that the German apparelmaker is known for: track pants, golf polos, rip-away athletic pants and basketball shorts. They were all rendered in jet black with the Adidas logo flipped upside down; its triple stripe fixed to the sides.
This is not the first time a luxury or heritage label has partnered with a multibillion-dollar retailer: take Stella McCartney with Adidas and Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci with Nike. Even Ralph Lauren has thrown its preppy polo into the mix. Mr Wang’s imprint was subtle; often simply inverting the colours of those white and black lines on a crop top or changing the fabrication.
If that was all you caught — or perhaps the party afterwards with Mr Wang’s friends in which they invited you to spray paint a Lexus and grab a Bud Light — you missed some thought-provoking clothes. Compared to last season’s excessive imagery (strippers on poles! marijuana leaves!), SS17 meant reworking boardroom pieces for his club kids with some restraint.
That included shirts revamped as daydresses, with a single cap sleeve and slit high up the front, in white and blue pinstripes; glen plaid suit pants reimagined as board shorts and paired with a scalloped lace bra top and car coat; and a leopard print robe with contrasting black lapels. With this collection Mr Wang showed that he’s still in command, even if that means he feels he must turn up the volume.