|From Left: Woven leather jacket and skirt; pink woven leather shoes; laser-cut back of white dress|
Alexander Wang is really taking his job seriously at Balenciaga. Since being appointed creative director of Balenciaga last November and receiving great reviews for his fall debut collection, he felt comfortable to inject a little of his signature style with the authentic house codes into his new spring 2014 collection he presented today. I was very surprised with this collection, because even though I applauded for his first collection, I thought it would be a passive one. But he proved here that he is a really clever guy who has soaked in all the Balenciaga archives to take it to a new modern couture level with a brisk of streestyle.
He came up with graphic couture silhouettes like last season that respected the Cristobal Balenciaga codes – round shoulder, cocoon like backs, curved proportions, and texture – contrasted with a pale palette of colors – in blue, pink, and gray – that played it safe for the designer with his big on top, small below volumes. I would have loved seen much more color most of us were used to when Ghesquiere was around, but his fresh floral print numbers made up for the color. It was interesting they weren’t as aggressive or hard to take in. It may have been the fact that he made them have a life of its own; his white shorts with baby blue hems, a short-skirt, and cardigan were edgy.
When it came to texture or leather, he achieved a marvelous creation. His first look was a strong pale blue rounded shoulder jacket paired with a straight A-line skirt both in woven leather that almost seemed from far away like some sort of cotton. He introduced two sporty looks – a purple tank top and a pale pink cropped top with track shorts – that reminded me of a gym attire but in a much more cool and luxe version the rich girls wouldn’t mind showing off. You would have to see some of these clothes in close-ups to indulge into some of those texturized fabrics - unique hand painted laser-cut tops, superb hand-braided pieces that appeared as print like his shorts and prints. Shoes also seemed even more interesting with better emphasis than from previous ones, while handbags will definitely be another sensation.
Couture-like were his cropped high-waist pants that came with an adjusted hip volume that were the highlight of the show (perfect effortless tailoring), off the shoulder dresses with a light running cocoon shaped back, cropped tops with a long back hem, luxurious corsets over subtle lace and silk hems, and those hybrid of miniskirts/shorts. And he finished with a series of effortless white shirtdresses and sheer suit numbers that were creative coming from someone like him. In all, he delivered again another beautiful and pleasing collection that will have a strong presence next season. Some of those A-line skirts, gym attire, pants, jackets, tops, and shorts will definitely be calling back that young streetstyle fanatic that was in love with Balenciaga. Bravo, Mr. Wang!