Streetwear, pole-dancing, celebs at high-voltage Wang show

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

NEW YORK (AP) — Alexander Wang's Fashion Week runway show was a LOT more than just a runway show.

First, it was an anniversary: the 10th of Wang's namesake brand. It was also a homecoming, of sorts: Wang has just ended his prestigious stint as creative director of Balenciaga in Paris after three years, and is turning his focus solely to his own company, rather than splitting his time between continents.

And it was a big party — as in, women pole-dancing the night away, while attendees sipped vodka and munched on mini sandwiches.

And, since this was Alexander Wang, it was a celebrity convention, too: The front row included none other than Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Kylie Jenner and The Weeknd.

The show, held Saturday night in a cavernous space on a pier on the Hudson River, began with Wang's models — female and male — streaming down the runway in designs that emphasized the hard-edged streetwear he's long been known for. There were big white T-shirts, lots of oversized jackets, ample hoodies, mesh tanks, low-slung striped trousers. There were bomber jackets, black leather bustiers, plenty of denim, roomy tennis-type sweaters, and lots of fringe.

When the models were done, it was time for a film of several minutes, a sort of montage of images that celebrated Wang, 31, and his label over the decade. "I always wanted to be in fashion," the onetime fashion wunderkind said in one clip. "I never thought it would take me this far so soon."

Then the immense screen went black, emblazoned with the huge white letters of Wang's name, and the designer ran out for his bow in his signature all-black attire, dancing, waving and smiling. No quick, shy bow for Wang.

Over the pounding music, Wang said in a backstage interview that the evening's fashions were all about "the idea of going back to my girl, and saying, you know what, the everyday and the mundane is what we're (focused on) ... we're rejecting innovation and we're thinking about what's right in front of us."

Wang also acknowledged that it's a time of transition for him. "I'm excited!" he said. "I'm very grateful for the last few years, I'm so proud of the work that I've done with my teams over in Europe, and what we've accomplished, double-digit growth every single year, and that's what I'm most proud of." He added: "I'm extremely happy to be home."

Wang had plenty of support from his celebrity friends.

"Wang, man!" Lady Gaga replied when asked what had brought her to the show.

"I love him, he is a good friend. I'm here to support him and I can't wait to see the show and celebrate 10 years."


AP video journalist Ronny Zvi contributed to this report.