Nothing was what it seemed at Alexander Wang’s Fall 2012 show. The materials he used were the most customized and luxe he has ever employed. Business is obviously booming and you can see it for yourself on the runway. You didn’t need to know about the 14 stores set to open in Asia this year to know that the Wang brand is stronger than ever. It was evident in the lacquered tweeds that opened the show and the suede pants with panels of wax. What looked like a high-tech rendition of a ninja in the near future was actually Wang’s new take on the turtleneck. There was an expert finesse to the tailoring of these clothes that speaks to a talent way beyond Wang’s years.
The cost to be payed by such a severe take on hardness and structure? – at least in Wang’s case – was a lack of joy. Well, puppies and rainbows has never been Wang’s shtick, but his ladies looked so bad ass as to seem unapproachable. (The bags were modeled after gun bags for goodness sake).
Season after season Wang keeps surprising his followers with a masterly handling of fabric manipulation. That’s proven to be his strongest suit. How he engineered the stitching of viscose on wool and leather with knits, for those ponchos and sheath dresses last year earned him unanimous kudos from the fashion sphere. What he’s created here earns him the cred of not just the face behind a ‘brand’, but of a fully-fledged true-to-form fashion designer.