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.