A strange thing happens in fashion when a successor is announced - attention turns swiftly away from the designer's talent and focuses instead on speculation and hyperbole. This was certainly the case when it was announced that Alexander Wang would be taking the reins from Nicolas Ghesquière and stepping into the role of creative director of fashion powerhouse Balenciaga, so the Alexander Wang A/W 2013 collection was his chance to focus the attention back on the sleek aesthetic and incredible talent for which he is so hugely respected.
As usual, the collection centered mainly around the idea of futuristic sportswear - sleek silhouettes engineered in high-sheen fabrics, contrasted with slouchy jersey basics. The collection also presented a few nods to the world of boxing, namely the cute furry boxing gloves that added a playful element to the collection. The air of luxury was also prominent in the materials used - soft suede patches, shaggy mohair and slick leather were the fabrics of choice, seen on a variety of fitted coats and jackets that personified the "sport-luxe" niche that Wang embodies so well. Emphasis was placed on keeping warm, with models having their ears snugly covered by hooded mohair turtlenecks and knitted caps, whilst Wang dispelled the rumour that winter clothes have to be bulky to be cosy by showing a range of pencil skirts and fitted trousers in soft fur.
Overall, the collection served nicely as a reminder of Wang's eye for fabric and his ability to take even the most basic items of clothing (see the oversized sweatshirts) and give them a luxe makeover. In addition, the techno references seem to nod back to one of Ghesquière's most famous collections for Balenciaga (the "Back to the Future" sweatshirts were a huge hit for the designer), as if to acknowledge that Wang is ready to take the brand's aesthetic and push it further. If there were ever a doubt that Wang is a worthy successor, this collection proves that Wang is more than capable of the role, leaving us all full of anticipation for his Balenciaga debut in just two weeks time.