Alexander Wang is poised to turn his back on the traditional fashion week model and show off-schedule. But, just before he does he took one last lap around New York Fashion Week to prove who is the CEO here.
In an abandoned office block Wang presented his autumn-winter 2018 show under a sign swinging: ‘AWG: Serving the Industry Since 2004’. During his time disrupting the fashion establishment he’s stayed true to one thing: black tailoring. And, his AW18 collection continued this legacy, but this time with a cult classic twist. Turning to two cinematic moments, The Matrix and Working Girl, for inspiration he managed to make the 9-to-5 wardrobe into a powerhouse of leather tailoring and ‘80s references.
At the heart of The Matrix, the blockbuster pits mankind against machines. In the early days of AI and robotic technology this seemed like a distant sci-fi vision, but as we creep nearer to an automated future the battle of flesh-and-blood against algorithms feels less fantasy and more like a possibility. This potent foresight didn’t just stretch to questioning the fundamentals of modern life but also seeded its way into popular culture through fashion. Like Blade Runner, The Matrix is the sartorial ship that’s launched a thousand trends.
While it’s been a long 19 years since The Matrix trilogy premiered, its legacy is currently in its heyday. Between the Hadid's and Zayn Malik taking style inspiration from Morpheus and Neo and Alexander Wang’s recent outing at New York Fashion Week, it seems this cult classic is still being championed.
Turn from Morpheus in his micro glasses and leather longline trench and Neo in his sharp high-neck tailoring and holsters and look at Alexander Wang’s latest collection and its hard not to see the thread between them. looking fierce suddenly takes on new meaning. Kym Barrett, the costume designer responsible for all three of the Matrix films wanted Trinity’s wet-look catsuit to look, ‘something like mercury, that you can't catch, it moves so quickly through your fingers.’ In Wang’s hands black leather miniskirts, blazers and a mid-length coat dress have a similarly slippery phantasmic feel.