It was a jam-packed Alexander Wang day for me yesterday, starting with a visit backstage pre-show and ending with the designer’s frat house themed after-party. Along the way I picked up a few interesting nuggets of information, got to talk to Carine Roitfeld, and even played beer pong. Oh, and I saw his spring 2012 collection, too.
My first stop was backstage, which was a pretty relaxed and mellow affair, punctuated by a visit from a street-style-star-in-the-making, which caused every editor there to run out with cameras blazing. The subject? Wang’s 21-month-old niece, Aila, who was decked out in full-on Alex Wang–including bag with fur danglers, racer back tank, leather circle skirt–and Converse platform sneakers. I chatted with mom Aimie, Wang’s sister-in-law (who also works for the company) about her well-dressed offspring, who made a splash last year after being photographed in a black fur chubby and Chanel purse.
“She has a lot of custom-made Alex,” Aimie told me. When asked if Alex would ever do a kid’s line she said, “I’m hoping.” Soon? Pause. “Um, I’m hoping.” Many designers have taken the plunge into kids’ wear, so there’s obviously a market for it. All those models having babies need clothes for their cool downtown progeny, right? Anyway, fingers crossed for an Alexander Wang children’s line. The company has a perfect model for it.
Moving on to the show, I ran into Carine Roitfeld on the way in. I asked about her thoughts on the shows so far and she told me, “This is my first show! I’m excited to start with Alexander Wang and it’s exciting to come back as a free person.” She would not dish further about her upcoming projects, but assured me she was really busy and had a lot on the way.
Now the clothes. Wang’s sporty inspiration this season was motocross and BMX, and the collection boasted more color than we’ve seen in a while from him, although he hinted at what was to come in his brightly-accented resort collection.
The show started with a series of mesh pieces layered over bright polos. After a palette-cleansing crisp white romper came a round of floral ripstop cargo pieces, often cut in a peplum shape with huge pockets. Solid black and burgundy cargo dresses were classic Wang. From there we moved on to a botanical print in racecar driver shapes, complete with floral helmets (please do a street bike version of these, Alex!). Next came body con knits and leggings in a colorful chevron pattern. A few shiny plastic coats covered with oversize grommets were the statement pieces in the collection. The last looks, adorned with an oversized modern faux tribal pattern, were not my favorite, but that doesn’t mean they won’t sell like gangbusters.
You can’t really talk about an Alex Wang show without mentioning accessories, and they were great this season. Nineties-inspired pointy-toed pumps in white and rubberized stingray were standouts, and the bags–oh, the bags. Most were sporty and slung cross body style, ranging from super slouchy to structured. A huge version that looked like a golf club bag had people around me gasping.
The beauty look, conceived by Diane Kendal for MAC, was “urban 90s”–smudgy eyeliner, a glowing face, and absolutely nothing on the lips. Nails were similarly bare, painted with just one coat of Sally Hansen’s pale cream Parchment. It’s part of Wang’s designer collection with the brand along with the dark blue Petrol and Oxblood. Look to his runway this season and you have the color inspiration. You can snag the limited edition set this spring.
The Wang-filled day ended with a party decorated to look like a frat house. Blow-up sex dolls, Playboy centerfolds taped up everywhere, beer pong tables, kegs, Jello shots, and video games set the tone. (And can I just say that fashion people have no idea how to play beer pong–having gone to a Big Ten school, I am something of a connoisseur of this sport.) Alex danced with abandon, mingling with the likes of Cathy Horyn and a gaggle of models.
I loved my day in Wang’s World and can’t wait to go back.
*Runway photos: Imaxtree