Wang debuts first Balenciaga collection at Paris Fashion Week
After Nicolas Ghesquiere’s surprising resignation in November last year, the fashion world was abuzz with who would helm Cristóbal Balenciaga’s eponymous label, inarguably one of fashion’s most seminal houses.
Named as the new creative director just weeks later, New York-based Alexander Wang was bestowed the auspicious honour, and since, the fashion world has been waiting with bated breath to see how his first collection for the PPR-owned label would fare.
Critics have used the words “confident”, “modest” and “uncomplicated” to describe the 29-year-old’s Paris Fashion Week presentation, with a small – 80 people only – press viewing held in a grand Parisian salon where Cristóbal himself frequently showed his couture offerings.
With marble cited as the collection’s prime inspiration, the largely monochromatic unveiling married the label’s traditional signatures – geometric shapes, curvilinear tailoring, and controlled yet artful folds – with Wang’s sexy sportsluxe trademark (not to mention his resounding obsession with backless garb).
The modern, minimal 34-look range features cut-out dresses, painted, artfully-cracked knits, folded leather, rounded too-sharp-to-drape hems, capped sleeves and almost-peplums.
The occasional burst of futuristic limestone-inspired print and subtle silver sparkles infused the offering with some flash detailing.
The buckled belts and uniquely painted throw-overs, we predict, will quickly sell-out – not just because they are stunning stand-alone statements, but because this collection, for Wang aficionados espcially, will certainly be remembered as a modern fashion moment.
Just ask Cathy Horyn – “[The collection is] impressive” – or Anna Wintour, the Devil in Balenciaga, herself – “I’m very proud. It was such a restrained show. I thought everything was very wearable, with obviously lots of bows to Balenciaga himself. I thought it was a very smart way to start, by not giving us too many fireworks.”