ALEXANDER WANG & BALENCIAGA
by Jeremy Danté
intially filled with doubt, the aesthetic that alexander wang has begun creating during his creative beginnings at balenciaga is that of intense interest for me. i love to see how new designers adapt to an existing heritage, and also love to see how american influences are applied to the international fashion design approach. overall, alexander wang has proven to be a force in fashion through his own label, which houses a name-sake collection, and a diffusion line of basics, t by alexander wang. through his utilization of street inspiration, an active wear; i had wondered what wang would apply to balenciaga’s robust archive of influential design.
i wondered if wang could even amount to former creative direction, nicholas ghesquiere, which blew my doubts up to extreme proportions. but when wang’s debut collection for the spanish house walked the ultra-exclusive catwalk at the balenciaga salon. the collection was tight and right, the clothes were dark and expressed a true sense of wang’s approach of style, with inclusion of street elements, but mindful comparability to balenciaga house signature. volume is one of the biggest influences at balenciaga, the house is credited for it’s alteration to the ways that women seen silhouette and shape. much of that was provided in wang’s debut collection at the label while what you seen was a balance of both hard and soft. soft were the silhouettes while painted leathers crackled their way onto the runway, which housed a tight 34 looks. a marriage of taste was seen in a vibrant, yet underplayed way. just enough to reel you in, but subtle enough to keep you guessing and wanting to know more. wang spoke in interviews saying he was, “identifying codes of the house” to produce modern translations in wardrobe form.
in his young age, alexander wang has done great things in the years he has spent designing clothes. his approach is modern and revitalized, providing a fresh glance of the future while we see nostalgic nods to elements we’ve long loved, and sometimes have forgotten. wang represents the new generation of visionaries in design, that allow bouts of culture to become utilized as taste level indicators. it’s about an attitude for him, and has been through his own work. the influential work of cristobal balenciaga is still very much under valued and has been historically in the world of high fashion. wang brings forth a visibility for a young demographic that will enhance the labels heritage by reigniting some of what was created back in 30’s. while this young demographic may serve well through publicity, wang’s approach can assist the pre-existing balenciaga clientele with a different take on things. one thing the balenciaga label has become synonymous with is innovation, and in this new chapter for the house- that innovation seems to be more balanced with a greater sense of functionality. that pure innovation will always live in those balenciaga archives, but in the last three collections that wang has created at balenciaga, he seems to be spot on and has a vibrant voice that speaks volumes to his sensibility of spanish style, with european appeal and american function.