My generation, which is also Alexander Wang's generation, is very sentimental about the '90s. We were teenagers back then, which means my first real fashion statement was a plaid baby doll dress, and the first fashion collection that directly influenced my style was Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis. So I get Alex Wang's obsession with the '90s.
When it comes to his Fall 2011 reflection on the era, there was some good, some bad, and some boring. Instead of focusing on the grunge of 1992, Wang looked more to Tom Ford at Gucci for inspiration. No, there weren't satin suits, but there were satin, sparkly skinny pants in pink, purple, and grey. There were also satin skirts cut up like streamers below the knee, paired with matching mohair sweaters in champagne and pale pink. Add on some furry stripper shoes--very Carrie Bradshaw circa 1998--and a satin poncho fit for Gwyneth Paltrow in her Brad Pitt days, and you've got a quintessentially late-'90s wardrobe. (His use of Swarovski crystals in the pants felt naturally '90s, too, and not in a bad way.)
However, that was all at the end--I suppose he saved the best for last. The first set of looks were fine, but a bit too "Blade Runner-gone-bad" for my taste. Does anyone need another biker jacket? Or a pair of quilted leather spats? I much preferred the luxe fur pieces that came out next, first in grey, then champagne (matched with slick satin pants). A sleeveless mink blazer in grey will be a key fall piece, as will a polished felt sleeveless coat with highlighter yellow pockets.
But the real takeaway from this collection was knits. It's what put Wang on the map--knits were his bread and butter. (Now, I'd presume the bread comes from T, his affordable line of casual t-shirts and t-shirt dresses.) It looks like, this season, we'll all need to own an Alexander Wang knit, whether it's a merino wool hoodie or one of those crazy ponchos. The innovation was in the blending of melange merino wool, satin and leather for an ombre effect. It brought a little bit of magic to what was otherwise par for the '90s course.
**All photos by Imaxtree.