Sunday, February 15, 2009

new york autumn/winter 2009 - alexander wang

the aesthetic of young new york designers usually consists of girlish prettiness mixed with a geeky naivete that charms and endears buyers and eventual consumers through its nostalgic appeal. alexander wang however seems to be in a class all his own. it is surprising to realize that while new york is one of the epicenters of youth culture that nurtured the music of the ramones or the new york dolls, there are few designers in new york such as alexander wang who really channels the energy and rawness of rock and roll in their work. last season saw wang manage to infused his hard edge vision with a softer colour palette and softer, more voluminous shapes. this season he did a complete 180 and presented an almost all black collection with strict angular lines that drew comparisons to the lords of eighties/early nineties excess and exaggeration thiery mugler and claude montana. there was something architectonic with the cut-outs, padded shoulders, leather panels, and metal rivets that could have meant, as wang addressed, a deliberate act to focus on tailoring. while it is typical for such a young designer to exaggerate shapes as a means to show his tailoring abilities, he managed to keep it contemporary even with a slight nineties references and as always, a ton of sex appeal. the strength of alexander wang isn't really his technical skills, nor his approachable price points, it is his unique youthful sincerity and understanding of who his customer really is and what she really wants that has enabled him to stay focused and build a business that has managed to in just a few years grow exponentially and shows no signs of slowing down.


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