For Alexander Wang's second collection for Balenciaga, which was presented at the Paris Observatory, it was clear right out of the gate that he was ready to take on a new challenge. Filled with crisp white and pretty pastels, the colors were a whisper, which left the real noise to the construction. The first series of looks, all hand-braided leather, was of couture-level construction, and the set of floral pieces provided a master class in layering materials — molded leather embroidered with thread, then printed with a swirling motif, then finished off with white appliqués. But it was a pair of high-waisted tulip petal pants that really illustrated a melding of the minds between Cristobal Balenciaga and Wang: expert tailoring but completely wearable . . . and effortless even.