I'm pretty sure the fashion industry breathed a collective sigh of relief this morning after Alexander Wang debuted his first-ever collection for Balenciaga. (Note: Fashionista did not attend the very exclusive show, but since we've covered Wang since the very beginning of his career, we felt it was important to address it on the site.)
Relief because, most importantly, it wasn't ugly. In fact, most of it looked great, particularly the pieces that relied on the house's archives: Black coats, vests, skirts and dresses with curved hems and cocoon shapes. (The black dresses with side cut-outs in particular were incredibly desirable.) Wang accented these styles, which were curvaceous but not overly voluminous, with simple silver safety pins. An homage to his punk leanings, no doubt, without ever turning trashy.
As it went on, Wang's restraint let up, and he introduced marbling to a few of those vests, and even on a chubby fur. There was something veiny and raw about those last few looks, despite the luxe fabrics. More than anything, though, they were wearable and most definitely sellable.
So were the handbags and shoes, which had a simple appeal. The doctor bag, shown in several sizes in white, silver python, and black, is a no-brainer. And while the pointy-pumps were ultra-sexy, the black boots—laced-up with silver ties—were cool and functional.
Several sources have told us that Wang's early time at Balenciaga is a trial; that his future there is not a sure bet. (Although given the game of musical chairs these houses play, is it ever?) With Wang's appointment, PPR obviously wanted to take the house in an easier, more approachable direction without tarnishing its ever-important history. They got what they wanted with his first effort.