'Alyx is determination made tangible,' read the show notes at the first Alyx runway show. Never has a statement been apter. Matthew Williams, the brand’s creative director, has been tenacious in his approach to design, passionately, yet discreetly promoting his craft since 2015. This was the first time the clothes have been presented in runway format, Williams usually presents his collections through unique fashion film and catalogues by Nick Knight, and the excitement was palpable.
To have such a phenomenal turn out on the last day of fashion week, when most are exhausted and already on the Eurostar home, is highly commendable. The Alyx show was rammed to the rafters with fans, celebrities, fashion types and the like. It was as if a mirror was held up to the broad range of clientele that the brand possesses. From A$AP Rocky to the Hadid sisters, to teenage obsessives, it seems that all are wanting to be a part of the Alyx community.
There were all the elements that one would hope to see from Alyx: the now ubiquitous cross-body bags in silver and camo shearling, the rollercoaster buckle on the belted waist, chest rigs and 3M reflective material. The colour palette too was familiar with bright acid green appearing on mesh embroidered dress and orange flicks under the eye. But predictable this was not.
Silhouettes were challenged as jeans were set low, jackets layered, and shirts stretched overtop of bulbous bags. These were juxtaposed with slimline dresses and cinched waists, snakeskin mini-skirts and curve-inducing crop-tops. Accessories, one of the winning attributes of the brand, were of course at the top of their game, with dramatic spiral earrings and Nike tick chain necklaces adding a punkish, club-kid element.
Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects was that of a new collaboration with Nike. Williams recently collaborated with the brand on a mini sports collection, but here was the introduction of a new trainer and the first from Williams. The shoe is unique in its almost post-human aesthetic with multiple straps, ankle sock and structural, off-terrain sole. 'We made a removable sole - this comes from the idea about sustainability, technically you could wear this out, then send it back in and have a new sole made for you,' said Williams backstage.
There were nods of Americana here too, with a thick knit jumper and mini rucksack all sporting the red, white and blue. 'Even though we’re based in Italy and we began in New York. I was definitely thinking a lot about being an American. When you’re visiting places you don’t realise how different our culture is,' added Williams. Indeed there were nods to both nineties Los Angeles and a Williamsburg club here. It was a melting pot of youthful reference and statement.
Alyx is going from strength to strength. It was an interesting move to choose the runway, especially after fashion film and meet-and-greet have served the brand so well, and one that felt like the right strategy. It can only be up from here.