Americana is in.
Reflecting his own Taiwanese-American heritage, Alexander Wang’s debut Collection 1 show (the first since his decision to leave the traditional fashion week schedule) was Mad Max meets classic Americana with a gothic ‘going out out’ noughties twist. Or as Wang himself put it, ‘it’s rock ‘n’ roll the Wang way.’
Stomping down the runway at New York’s South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 were post-apocalyptic flu masks given a macabre glam twist courtesy of delicate black lace embellished with safety pins, whilst deconstructed American football jerseys complete with corsets in place of plastic shoulder pads and glitter miniskirts adorned with car radiator grills referenced a dystopian American dream.
Low slung satin combat trousers, handkerchief tops recreated in silver chains, and Paris Hilton circa The Simple Life-esque belt skirts, made this time literally from belts, gave the whole show a hit of nostalgic noughties trashy-chic.
Not to mention the continuation of last season’s streetwear-inspired brash branding with the designer’s name spelt out on everything from Motocross gloves, to monogrammed belts and conveniently placed on sheer t shirts.
But the most unexpected fashion takeaway came in the form of Axl Rose-inspired bandanas. Storming down the runway were the fresh-faced Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber and the rest of their Wang biker gang rocking printed snapback bandanas.
Guns N’ Roses eat your heart out.
Even the hair and make-up got given the stars and stripes treatment with models’ faces being patriotically painted to mimic the iconic US flag. Backstage, make-up artist Diane Kendal used strips of tape and primary school style star stickers to create a negative space effect when painted over with black.
Although most models’ hair was treated to hair legend Guido Palau’s signature ‘gritty Wang girl’ waves topped with the snapback bandanas, others like Hiandra Martinez and Selena Forrest were given braids woven into thematically appropriate stars, whilst Binx Walton had her own name twisted into cornrows.
‘It’s not wavy, it’s not straight—it’s nothing-y texture,’ he explained backstage while blasting small sections smooth with the newand leaving the rest air-dried before raking and from roots to tips. ‘We wanted it to look very cool and downtown à la Axl Rose.’
We’re getting the feeling Wang likes a theme…