Karl Lagerfeld does it. Marc Jacobs does it. Now Alexander Wang does it. With “it” being successfully designing collections for multiple houses including their own eponymous labels. True, Lagerfeld has been doing it for a long time with Fendi and Chanel and Marc Jacobs is quite comfortable with designing for Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs so the comparison may be a stretch, but Wang is proving to be quite promising as the new creative director at Balenciaga.
His highly anticipated debut collection for Balenciaga took place in Paris this morning laying the foundation for the designer’s future collections for the fashion house. As customary (or as it should be customary), Wang looked to the archives of Cristóbal Balenciaga to ensure he paid tribute to the designer’s legacy.
It was evident in this initial show of respect to the house and its designer that Wang wanted to not only prove his abilities, but also demonstrate his appreciation and understanding of Balenciaga. Though he may have constricted himself too much to the Balenciaga silhouette, his presentation was still impressive and he managed not to ruffle too many critical feathers. After all, there will be other collections and opportunities to delve deeper into the fashion house’s history and interpret it more creatively as his comfort level increases.
If Wang wasn’t able to bring his chic, New York “cool girl” aesthetic to Balenciaga, at least he was able to pepper in the use of new technology and techniques to elevate the interest of the sleek black and white assortment. Where Wang’s personal touch ended, Cristóbal’s began. Volume dominated the catwalk in the form of cocoon coats and sculptural, rounded-out jackets and petal skirts. An open back and smart draping helped to soften the structurally clean lines and portray a sense of movement. The most eye-catching pieces of the line featured a marble-inspired pattern on dresses, mink jackets and skinny pants.
The view the collection in its entirety, visit wwd.com.