>> Despite the vast concrete-floored warehouse space waiting inside Pier 94 to house Alexander Wang's guests, they all had to pass through a single set of double doors at the entrance yesterday, causing quite the crush, particularly because a burly security guard took up a large part of the entryway, allowing VIPs like Dasha Zhukova and Fabien Baron pass on his right, while everyone else had to go to his left.
The crowd buzzed with excitement; after all, Wang has come a long way in a few short seasons — to the point that a major magazine's accessories editor had to ask stylists to stop using one of his shoes, the lace-up sandal boot from Spring 2010, which had become ubiquitous, in all of their shoots.
Tavi Gavinson emerged from backstage, Fashion Television camera crew in tow, and took to laughing with and interviewing Lauren Santo Domingo, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, and Derek Blasberg. She took her front row seat, and the stadium-style lights went down and then up, revealing opener (and closer) Natalia Vodianova, hair shellacked over one eye, as she walked along the long black background, giving the audience a prolonged view in profile, before turning to give them a closer look.
Wang, like fellow young designer Jason Wu, felt the need for a turning point in his brand this season, hence a focus on a more tailored silhouette in the form of deconstructed pinstripe suits: Wall Street, Wang-style. But there was also a strong element of late-'90s goth: the models wore black backpacks with fluttery floor-length tails, 5-inch high chunky-heeled mid-calf boots in velvet or brown with burnished yellow toes (which they had trouble turning in), pleated mini-skirts with tuxedo tails in back, and mid-thigh leggings which belled out over their shoes. There was even some chenille and a black leather trench thrown into the mix.
Big on collaborations, Wang worked with stylist Karl Templer and Linda Farrow sunglasses each for the second time, the latter producing bug-eyed shades worn over the models' hair, and Gaia Repossi for jewelry. In addition to Natalia, Freja Beha Erichsen and Snejana Onopka made their runway debut for the week; Agyness Deyn and Jessica Miller, ready for a comeback, also took a turn. The designer's CFDA-appointed mentor Diane von Furstenberg was front row, smiling during the finale, along with her CEO Paula Sutter, whose appearance raised a few questions about investment potential (DVF has a stake in Nathan Jensen's line).
Wang decided to forgo an after-party this season after last season's gas station-set rager, but fret not; last night, he told WWD with a grin: "We're planning something big for September."