Alexander Wang is about as New York cool as it gets – and this season, somewhat ironically given the freakishly mild winter NYC has experienced this year, Wang sent out a collection of structured luxe-utilitarian leather, suede and wool outerwear and wintry-hued separates fit to beat the coolest temperatures (and locales) the Northern Hemisphere could throw at you. Complex textures were key amid a faultless, and darkly dramatic, Autumn/Winter 2012 collection of nouveau-mod pieces modelled by the industry’s finest – Gisele, Shalom, Abbey Lee, Karolina and Carmen Kass among others – who took to the mirrored catwalk in lacquered tweed, waxed suede, patent leather, coated wool and laser-cut mesh constructions in a bold palette of black, white and oxblood.
It was an undoubtedly clever marriage of classic-with-a-twist military-inspired silhouettes and innovative fabrications on show this season, a smart move for a designer that while beloved by the fashion set has been criticized in the past by industry elite, including Cathy Horyn, for being ‘unoriginal and derivative’. Following last season’s awesomely future-80s BMX Bandit good-bad-girl collection that demonstrated a real return to form, Wang again this season seemed intent on proving his mettle as an authoritative new-guard American designer – and it worked. Overall, Wang’s vision for AW/12 may have been somewhat safe, but in the current economy, why shouldn’t it be?
Covetable and consumable, it had all the elements of a successful and ultimately wearable collection, and like the show’s invasive riot girl soundtrack, it hinted at a subversive intensity that clearly had the crowd (consisting, as usual, of every cool kid around – Zoe Kravitz, Alexa Chung, Erin Wasson, Die Antwoord) in awe.