Let's talk about Wangleciaga!


Alexander Wang, the ever promising New York based designer, was named Balenciaga's creative director less than a year ago, following the departure of Nicolas Ghesquiere, a creative mind who has been the driving force of the Parisian maison for the past 15 years. And while Nicolas claimed that his decision making had to do with plans about opening his own label, Wang already had two lines running. His main line named after him and a diffusion one called T by Alexander Wang, which in a nut cell is what Versus is for Versace. Enthusiasm was all over the place and I must admit that I find Wang to be a very talented designer who knows exactly how to combine creativity and commerce, but I am doubtful by birth. I thought "Well..it's Balenciaga. He can either kill it the good way or kill it the Hedi Slimane way".

When his debut collection was live on nowfashion.com the site crashed. In an era of full on boring and recycled ideas the appointment of a new creative director on the wheel of a leading fashion house creates the ultimate buzz. The show was presented in a architectural space in which the runway had a cracked marble effect. Ingeniously, Wang combined the very runway with some of the looks, who astoundingly looked like walking sculptures. True to the long established Balenciaga identity all thirty-five looks looked like they hanged away from the body, embracing it at the same time in the most flattering way. Wang's love for absence of color is well known so black and white were only lightened by deep greens in a palette Christobal himself featured in most of his collections. The reviews were dithyrambic!

A resort collection came after that for next spring and "Le Dix" bag was introduced as Wang's first bag for the house. Even though I am not crazy about the shapes of the resort collection, I have to say that "Le Dix" is a beautiful handbag, a classic design that might not seem like something completely and utterly new but still is a sight for shore eyes. The press boomed once more.

It is because of all that buzz and applause though why I kept myself from getting excited about what Wang has done for clearly one of my favorite maisons. But now that most of it is gone and the winter campaign is out, I finally allowed myself to fall in love. That's partly because Steven Klein got in the game, capturing astonishing pictures that are so fashion forward but just as commercial as they should be for an ad campaign. I felt, after a long time, that someone managed, at last, to do what the great masters of couture did in the past. Create effortless, wearable clothes that exhale the Parisian chic without any unnecessary excess.

Wang has done it! He opened the closet of history, searched through the archives, brought back the Balenciaga, and along with it the Wang.

Leo

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