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Bye Bye Balenciaga

With his final collection for the house, Alexander Wang writes the first line of his next chapter.
Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2016 | Source: Indigital
By
  • Tim Blanks

PARIS, France — This could have been a lame duck collection for Alexander Wang, but that wasn't the way he approached it at all. "Let's do something people would expect least," he told himself. Ruffles, lace, feathers, "things no one associates with me, things I've always wanted to venture into, like romanticism, sensuality, overt femininity," an ebullient Wang declared after his Balenciaga send-off on Friday.

He called it his love letter to Paris, a bookend to his signature show last month, his love letter to New York. If his hometown got streetwear chaos, Paris got a dressy, detailed, lingerie-tinged confection — camisoles, slip dresses, ruffled satins, lace sheaths — in shades of white. Even the dungarees and carpenter’s pants, which added the utility edge that has always been a Wang signature, looked fit for angels.

The cross-shaped catwalk was centered on two reflecting pools. Purity, said Wang. Perhaps even purification? Mightn't he feel like that after his experience in Paris? Not at all. He insisted his venture into sensuality had one criterion: “Seduce me.” And that was clearly why he was so upbeat. This wasn’t the end of anything. It was simply the first line of a new chapter.

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