The day Alexander Wang showcased his first collection for Balenciaga was one which the fashion pack had long been waiting for. That’s right, a new designer heading a house is as important as a president’s inauguration. And in Paris, the city which beget fashion, there was a throng of people crazy/brave enough to try and get into the designer’s intimate showing, queuing outside in the cold and facing the early 9.15 AM show time. But it’s been a while since something this monumental has happened and therefore, this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity is a must-do/see for those in Paris.
New York’s king of downtown cool is no stranger to being in the limelight, but his debut collection for one of Paris’ most highly esteemed fashion houses makes this show hotly anticipated. When Wang was first named creative director by PPR, the retail giant which has stakes in Christopher Kane and Stella McCartney as well as several other notable labels, some expressed skepticism as to whether he would be able to do justice to the so-called 'codes' of the house. To do justice to Cristóbal Balenciaga’s enduring legacy is somewhat unthinkable. Alexander Wang produced a collection that was as polished as it was simple. Re-visiting Balenciaga’s archives, he conjured up a woman who was ready to embrace the future by incorporating the virtues of strength and femininity.
In his almost exclusively black and white collection, beauty was seen in new textures along with inventive details such as silvered clasps that looked like pins adorning tops, coats and accessories. Marble and cracked patterns appeared on fur coats and sleek dresses; they revealed the designer’s penchant for exploring unusual materials and creating new textures. Sleek silhouettes emerged from the pairing of sharp trousers with structured tops, whilst varied silhouettes from peplums acknowledged older Balenciaga traditions.
The excitement saved up for this collection definitely made the wait worthwhile. What’s more worthwhile for the women buying these clothes is that they shall be buying a historical moment wherein a unique fusion between the old and new could not be more pertinent.