With open arms, fashion welcomes back Alexander Wang
Alexander Wang made his New York debut on Wednesday night after devoting the previous two years to concentrating on the rapid expansion of his company in China. You wouldn’t know from the turnout that his reputation had been damaged just two years ago.
Wang’s eponymous brand attracted more than 150 visitors despite not being on the official New York Fashion Week schedule.
The “Cupid” performance was “a celebration of romance,” according to the show notes, and was motivated by “the alpha character who epitomizes empowerment and controls their own narrative and point of view through strength, attire, and attitude.”
His first collection was largely centered on outerwear, bringing back the chubby fur coat—naturally faux. The multicolored python and zebra stripes that featured as low-slung cropped pants and pencil skirts made the coats, worn to flaunt a toned, exposed midriff, look extra aggressive. A long duster with a fur trim felt awkward. The fur was also used to trim denim outerwear.
The varied model line-up’s mood also changed with the models radiating so much energy. Wang’s women appear to be the boss ladies running the show based on the men’s line-up, which is dominated by casual attire, while the guys lounged around in sweatshirts, chunky fleece, and python overalls because, well, why not? One male model sauntered down the runway shirtless with sweatpants dangling alarmingly low below the hips. Despite how cool they were, they also contained hints of daring.
With award season in full swing, Wang’s exploration of the heart shape and fringe on a women’s evening wear collection for the finale turned out to be a thrilling idea. Bodices and booties were displayed in the double hump and V shape created by the layered fringe strips, while others had extra-long fringe that swept the carpet.
Reentering the category is also expected to be favorably received by Gen-Z, which has developed a more tolerant view of gender than Wang’s own Millennial generation.
Wang stated, “The man is still the same but… there’s a new proportion of [menswear] we haven’t necessarily played that has a bit more sensuality to the cut.” In some places, it’s a little more fitted to the body, while in others, it’s a little big.
A red-light display that resembled a beating heart throbbed as the men’s portion came to a close. This, luckily, doubles as a gift for the two holidays—Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day—that the collection was introduced between.
After the last model had exited the runway, Wang sprung from backstage and greeted the spectators with an upbeat victory lap around the heart runway. He only paused during his dash to embrace a spectator before sprinting backstage in the hope that fashion would continue to love him even after the scandal.
Wang has accelerated his business in China, bringing on additional Chinese investors and developing outlets there quickly. He’s taken a more methodical approach to restoring his US business, dressed a few famous people for the Met Gala and other high-profile occasions (and serving as the inspiration for the viral photos of Rihanna while pregnant and Julia Fox after Ye, who made a comeback to end Wednesday’s show). In April 2022, he held a runway show in Los Angeles, his most audacious attempt to that moment to rekindle US sales.
By adhering to his vision, Wang has been able to develop both his calling and his business—the company recently opened a new location at South Coast Plaza and will shortly move to a new headquarters.