In the past two weeks I may or may not have purchased an obnoxious amount of magazines. Some people have chocolate; others cigarettes, my addiction: magazines. I find myself constantly inspired by them and thus feel the need to have more. In the magazines I’ve acquired recently—showcasing what the fall season has to offer—some looks from a certain collection keep catching my eye. Alexander Wang’s third to last offering for Balenciaga. The collection photographs like a dream and that isn’t the most surprising thing considering how beautiful the clothes are.
In two years, Alexander Wang has done a lot. He assumed position of creative director at the Parisian brand whilst still maintaining his post at his eponymous label. He has doubled the sales figures for Balenciaga. Despite all of this there was speculation this summer that Wang would be parting ways with the house. At first I didn’t buy into the rumours, but sure enough; they became reality. Reportedly, the decision was amicable. The media had their field-day. Why? Who would be the successor? Will it be a famous designer or somebody unknown [like Gucci did]? My thoughts are still brewing. That isn’t the topic of discussion today, the clothes will be.
Many claim Wang’s aesthetic didn’t fit in with the Balenciaga brand. Under Nicolas Ghesquière it was experimental and unpredictable. Founder Cristobal Balenciaga designed regal wares for his posh clientele. Wang’s tango with the brand has brought it to the street, naturally. His tenure opened with a fall collection fit for a queen. Then there was some street dreaminess. For Fall 2015, that poshness returned. The woman was “regal” and an “aristocrat”. Scouring the archives for inspiration, this collection one again shone the light on “society women”, that the brand’s founder would’ve dresses.
The honour of opening the show was bestowed upon model of the moment Aamito, who wore a cocoon coat. Side splits and plunging necklines followed, pinned with brooches of sunburst encrusting, or the brand’s logo ‘CB’. Slightly off-the-shoulder shapes and form-fitting skirts accentuated models' frames. Issa Lish wore a sublime strapless dress. With a clashing graphic print top and skirt, black bands separated the two, adding definition.
The ‘ladies who lunch’ (in the ’50’s) look has been done, but impressively so of late. Leave it to Wang to spice things up. Adding spikes to cocoon jackets. Daubs of orange and blue on black, and grey, pieces. Lining fur on point-toe kitten heels. Why not even deck the models in Dr. Martens-esqe boots? The reinvigoration of typical design tropes is what makes Alexander Wang to be such a talented designer.
This Balenciaga woman is different. She’s representative of the merge between the women who spend time in the decadent enclaves of private members’ clubs and the foul-mouthed, street-walking cool girl. It’s precisely what makes her so interesting, and Wang is to thank for that. He tweaked the brand that Ghesquière worked his magic on, bringing it back to its roots. He had big shoes to fill and a lot of expectations on his shoulders. I think he handled them very nicely.