Sometimes all-white just isn’t alright – case in point, purveyor of NYC downtown-cool Alexander Wang’s collection last season. It got slammed for being derivative (Ann Demeulemeester anyone?) and just not particularly wearable, which is a problem when it is what your label is supposedly built around – but not to worry, it seemed Wang set out to right all wrong’s with a well-conceived, considered and, most importantly, inventive collection for A/W 2011 that highlighted his aesthetic strong points: innovative fabrication, deconstructed suiting and an overall sci-fi-slash-sporty vibe (zippers and silver detailing rife throughout). From the outset, the show – set in the cavernous Pier 94 space Wang opts for each season – appeared as an industrial future-disco. The floor, illuminated in a sequence of light-up squares discoteque-style, saw models stepping haphazardly to the pounding beat of '90s club music – the Prodigy soundtrack certainly brought back high school memories! There were sexy-cyber ski-bunny looks, statement oversized parka-poncho and bomber-biker hybrid’s – which have been a huge trend on the catwalk for Winter 2011 (even at Altuzarra!) and elongated and sheer re-workings of the classic tuxedo dress-shirt and aviator-cum-mourning coat. Heels in striking metallics stood out, rose-gold loafer-style numbers with tassel were a favourite, while others featured chunky flaps at the back of the ankle – an unusual look in sync with the not-quite-right leg-warmers throughout. Textures were of particular interest, and very much a highlight of the collection; winter coats began as soft merino wool and graduated seamlessly into needle-punched leather, while pullovers started out as angora and merged into chiffon – a rather impressive experimental feat, and evidence that Wang can offer a lot more than just androgynous cool-girl garb.
From the outset, the show – set in the cavernous Pier 94 space Wang opts for each season – appeared as an industrial future-disco.