Last night as the sun set and rain swept through pier 17 at South Street Sea Port in Manhattan, Alexander Wang presented ’Collection 1’ - a 56 look ode to neo-Americana. Though New York Fashion Week is not due to start for another few months, Wang has decided to stray from the de facto seasonal schedule and show during pre-collection's season. Sure, traditionalism is old hat and anything that’s disruptive is considered cool (see: the beauty industry), but as far as house codes went this was old school Wang through and through.
With stars and stripes painted across their faces and Axl Rose-inspired bandanas wrapped around their foreheads, Insta-famous male and female models walked out to heavy metal and Childish Gambino's This Is America. They wore XXL-sized leather, denim and tailored jackets with teeny weeny shorts, micro-mini skirts and low-slung chunky logo belts. It was sexy in the Bella Hadid street style school of sexy with chainmail bra tops spliced with tube socks and sneakers and dissected sports jerseys.
Wang, himself the scion of immigrants, worked signifiers of his heritage into a collection dripping with ironic bolo ties and Mercedes Benz ornaments. There was a Nehru collared blue cheongsam jacket tucked into a pair of little leather shorts and flannel sweatpants - like the type bros that play beer pong at Ivy league universities wear - printed with the word 'Chinatown' on their left leg.
On each guest’s chair was a slip of paper from Wang explaining this was ‘a new beginning, a new identity and a new day for my brand.’ And, yet, this collection was the synthesis of everything the Wang label has been up until now: dark, edgy and made-for-millennials.