Donna, Calvin, Ralph. Alexander Wang SS20

I’ve been on fence with Alexander Wang lately – his fashion week schedule skipping and temporary identity crisis not only seemed to make him less visible (especially here in Europe), but also… less relevant. But something has sparked in his spring-summer 2020 collection he showed a few days ago in New York (three months ahead of all designers who are based in the city). It was really, really good. It was Alexander Wang we all loved years ago. It was badass, cool, energetic. And, smart. This season, the designer paid tribute to three designers who changed American fashion in the late 20th century, and whose aesthetical impect is still perceivable across the world. Donna Karan. Her stretch jersey bodysuits and big shoulders were the epitome of power dressing in the 1980s, and Wang included all of her signature codes in the opening looks. Calvin Klein. Denim, sex, but also minimalism – all these three couldn’t be missed by Wang, and he pulled them off just the right way. Ralph Lauren. The eternal flannel plaid, suede fringes, corduroy, ribbed knits and luxe cowboy look were all here. Those three designers not only reshaped American fashion, but also made their own take on athleisure go global. Most of today’s 30+ designers in the U.S. were growing up with those names, and Wang’s sporty sensibility is especially built on their foundation. Admitting this so loudly is more than excellent I think.

Collages by Edward Kanarecki.

American Hustle. Alexander Wang AW19

Alexander Wang presented his autumn-winter 2019 collection months ahead of the rest, just like last season, and here we are – already thinking about outerwear and knits we would love to wear this winter, but which we will get sometime in 2019. Wang’s newest outing is his best to date – it’s badass, it’s cool, it’s New York. It’s Alexander Wang we know, and have missed for a while. This one, the designer said, was a “celebration of the American hustle. We’re taking stereotypes of class and wealth and trying to remix them, giving status symbols a new sensibility.” There was something downtown (safety pins, lots of leather and leopard print) and uptown (tweed suits, tennis sweaters, evening gowns, crisp shirting), clashed and collage-ed. The leather garment bags, carried by models (see Malgosia Bela and Kiki de Willems), were inspired by images of the 80s career types toggling between the office and the health club. I’m not entirely sure of the clothes when put seperately, but the show’s styling was on point – take the towel turbans or the boys’ take on suiting.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Melting Pot. Alexander Wang SS19


It seems that the New York fashion calendar is about to break down entirely. Some major designers show in Paris; some are coming back home, and to the regular schedule  (Proenza Schouler is the latest); and some, like Alexander Wang, decide to show ahead of all, in the Big Apple, and persuade us, the confused viewers, not to call it spring-summer 2019 – but rather, the enigmatic ‘season 1’. Yes, I know that might be too much. But surprisingly, all those switches did good to Wang. Not that I adore his latest collection, but it’s so much better than his last seasons. At least, it’s not trying to mean too  much as it did the last time with the Matrix-CEO theme.

The inspiration started with Alexander’s mum and dad taking a trip together, and their immigration to America. Still, the collection wasn’t meant to be overly political, so migration wasn’t the ultimate key here. The designer focused on the notion of more dynamic, risk-involving travelling, or rather riding. Maybe the attitude close to Lana Del Rey’s Ride music video might be a clue. In overall, the collection felt like a creative melting pot shaped from Wang’s experiences, fascinations and aesthetics. We’ve had the Axl Rose bandanas; motocross gears; leather mini skirts and ‘piercing’ tops made of pins; football jerseys. Is that the today’s grunge according to Alex? Who knows. Definitely, Wang felt a lot of joy, while designing the collection, as all of that is truly, but truly him.


Collage by Edward Kanarecki.


I’m Bossy. Alexander Wang AW18


Staged in a former Condé Nast office, filled with corporate cubicle walls, Alexander Wang‘s autumn-winter 2018 fashion show’s venue promised a lot. Glass-ceiling breaking! Female empowerment! Strong, business dressing! All that came to my mind instantly. But did the designer deliver anything worthwhile? Except the Matrix reference and lots of black, nothing else, honestly. It’s hard to imagine a working woman wear any of those  dominatrix mini-dresses and leather skirts with slits in the most NSFW spots. Not that sexy is bad. I’m not trying to sound puritan! But I just don’t think this theme really works for Wang, and his ‘party girl’ roots. If it was just another Wang-ish collection, it would at least feel persuasive. He tried to do something mature, maybe.  Sadly, the result is a mash-up of current Saint Laurent, vintage Mugler and Gucci-era Tom Ford, in wrong context. Fingers crossed that the trip to Paris next season will be slightly more succesful for the designer…


Collage by Edward Kanarecki.