With the fashion industry in a state of flux, there's something comforting about the familiar. Thankfully, we can always count on Alexander Wang to show us a good time, which is why very few editors batted an eye when the designer directed them to an unlisted address in Harlem on Saturday night for his Fall 2017 show — an invitation that explicitly came with the warning "no after-party."
Of course, there was some subtext here, and although the disclaimer proved true, guests were greeted with a literal pyramid of Peroni kegs upon arrival (you may recall Wang threw a frat-themed after-party back in September 2011) and given wristbands à la Coachella or #WangFest to further throw them for a loop. The venue was the abandoned RKO Hamilton Theater; instead of seats, the audience filled in the standing space surrounding the elevated runway, beers in hand, as if waiting for a rock show. Metro Boomin warmed the crowd up with a DJ set, and before long, a sudden flash of strobe lights signaled it was time to get down.
In a move that should surprise no one, Wang focused on his ultimate muse — the too-cool-for-school party girl — for fall. The collection was done up almost completely in black, and included high-mileage closet staples that his longtime devotees will surely appreciate: oversize, tomboyish blazers and overcoats; boxy denim jackets; slinky, silk slip dresses; slouchy T-shirts and tank tops; body-hugging catsuits; and studded boots, in both heeled and flat iterations. Much like in seasons past, there was heavy metal hardware aplenty — particularly chain-strap handbags, studs that lined sleeves, hems and lapels, as well as large circular silver buttons.
There was a new-ish Western element that permeated many of the pieces: leather pants and denim came super-high waisted, and metal fringe hung from shirt pockets, the backs of sleeves and a scarf-like collar, like some sort of goth cowgirl. As for the eveningwear, Wang went hard on the bling, too, accenting mesh minidresses — some with sexy, peek-a-boo paneling — with crystals and the aforementioned metal fringe. Like last season's customized "Wang Squad" airbrush tees, models were gifted novelty items backstage that lit up social media. Aside from the "no after-party" printed tights that debuted on the runway, we spotted denim pieces and T-shirts that read "for drugs," "best high you can buy" and "party animal" spelled out in early aughts-esque rhinestones. A selection of these off-runway items will go up for sale on Wang's website and in his retail stores on Sunday — and will surely inspire more than a few fast-fashion knockoffs in the months ahead.
Once the finale rolled around, models walked straight off of the runway, through the crowd, out the back door and, presumably, into the night. Good thing they were already dressed — we'd hate for them to waste some precious party time.
See the full Alexander Wang Fall 2017 collection in the gallery below.