Alexander Wang concludes his time at Balenciaga with a finale collection of white silk and a swan-like aesthetic.
Swan song meets sports luxe
Balenciaga is known for being a pioneer in innovation each season. Yet Alexander Wang rewrote this mantra for his final collection, instead going back on his tracks to something which was more a call to traditional opulence than an ode to statement making. Wang likes to be unpredictable – and no one quite expected a modestly elegant amalgamation of soft white silks in a mix of eye-pleasing variants. Wang’s more classic pieces conjured swan-esque connotations, which played with traditional silk ruffles, lace and contoured structures with wired cupped busts. On the flip side, there were obvious traces of sports luxe on the runway. Not totally fixed on stepping away from the wants and needs of the modern wearer, Wang’s inclusion of bum bags, low swinging wide cut trousers, racer-backs and matelassé jacket cuts make a fitting balance of the two oppositions.
Virtually all looks were paired with laced slip on shoes – a high fashion answer to the kind you receive as a complimentary gift in a hotel spa. Admittedly, this works well. Despite the applaudable craft and attention to emmaculate detail, there’s still something pretty relaxed about this collection. Tastefully graceful dresses of floating fabrics and feminine ruffles sweep down the catwalk, styled with loose half-buns, half-pony hair and natural make-up. There’s no feeling of hierarchy, it’s romanticism is pleasantly modest and all the while, an aesthetically pleasing feast for the eyes for anyone who appreciates skilful construction and delicate femininity.
Alexander Wang’s last day at school
Contrary to many a fashion show, no drama nor quabbles were reported from backstage, only smiling faces and happy-to-be-there attitudes. As Wang accepts his applause, he shows energy and a spring in his walk. Like your last day of school – or accepting your graduation handshake – there was a clear sense of ‘mission complete’ from Wang. Breaking free of all the associated stereotypes, Wang has created a clean slate for the next to take his place and completes his time with Balenciaga on an elated high.
Words: Hannah Sargeant