Monday Muse: Wall Street Inspires Alexander Wang Pre-Fall
Last season, Alexander Wang was one of the designers that embraced the new logomania (others included Donna Karan at her DKNY show and, more subtly, Missoni) and while it wasn’t a major trend, it was one way that designers were reinterpreting the trends that ruled the late ’80s and ’90s. After cycling through neon and shoulder pads — though we’re happy to report that strong shoulders will probably never cease to walk the runway at Balmain — it was inevitable that huge logos would be front and center again. But Wang has grown up in the past few months and you might credit that to his not-so-insignificant side job as the creative director of Balenciaga. When it was announced that he’d be helming the storied Spanish couture house, critics and fans of fashion alike wondered how it would affect his main line and at Pre-fall, we finally saw what happened when Wang’s girls grow up: they trade in their glow-in-the-dark sheaths and Alexander Wang laser-cut leather for Wall Street stripes.
Michael Douglas’ performance in Wall Street is still one of his most memorable and it’s still a touchstone for designers today. However, when a designer brings up the film, it’s usually a menswear designer, not a downtown favorite such as Alexander Wang. The clothes of the film were strong and powerful (two words definitely associated with Wang and his work), playing up on the excesses of the time and how men really did dress when they were out on the trading floor after the bell rings every morning. Deep navy blue pinstripe suits were paired with wide ties (huge, by today’s skinny standards) and hefty suspenders.
For his Pre-fall collection, Alexander Wang focused on two sides of Wall Street. He began the collection by showing variations on the power suit, done up in Gekko pinstripes and paired with suspender-inspired body harnesses in bright acid oranges and greens. The collection continued the menswear inspiration by including Prince of Wales check body-con dresses and cropped trousers. But then the collection took a turn towards rebellion. Thigh high boots paired with anoraks and sporty, outdoor-appropriate overcoats and anoraks might have been a nod to the recent Occupy Wall Street movement, which brought the public’s attention to the dark side of the stock market. It might have been Wang’s subtle nod to how fashion itself has become more about business (he’s at the head of not one, but two, huge international brands now) than expression. But even those who aren’t in the industry know that Wang’s stock is definitely still on the rise, and with a collection full of wearable pieces like these, he’s sure to gain a new legion of loyal fans that turn to him for office-wear as well as the easy, casual off-duty uniforms he’s known for.