Thursday, 6 June 2013


Many (myself included) were extremely dubious when it was announced earlier this year that Alexander Wang had been chosen as Balenciaga's new creative director. Wang's predecessor, Nicholas Ghesquière, had previously turned the brand into a true fashion powerhouse, gaining respect for his futuristic aesthetic and experimental silhouettes, making the task of replacing such an influential director would be tricky. Not to mention that Wang's own eponymous collection is based heavily on luxe sportswear - often choosing to work mainly with leather and jersey, it was widely questioned as to whether or not Wang was versatile enough to take the helm of such a renowned fashion house. After impressing the fashion crowd with his Fall 2013 collection, this Resort 2014 collection has only proven further that he is entirely capable of the task at hand. 

Balenciaga Fall 2013
Once again, despite the brilliance of the collection it was evident that Wang was tentative about dividing opinion, choosing to stay away from colour entirely and focus on a colour palette comprising of black, white and several muted shades of grey. The lack of colour gave an elegant simplicity to the collection, allowing the focus to be the unusual, sculptural silhouettes. There were several examples of Wang choosing to play with proportions - for example, bandeau crop tops were teamed with cropped bolero jackets and lean black trousers, Wang's playful take on the tuxedo for summer. 

Layering was another key element of the collection - adding a dimension of femininity, drop-waist dresses featured layers of plain and printed chiffon whilst smart white shirts were worn under structured dresses to give an element of androgyny. There was also experimentation in terms of accessories; all models wore smart black bucket hats adorned with strips of black plastic, and a series of embroidered sandals (teamed with gold ankle chains) provided a practical alternative to a heel without sacrificing glamour. By sticking to 1920s silhouettes and staying within the realms of monochrome, Wang has once again succeeded in creating a collection that is effortlessly chic. Whilst it remains clear that the designer is cautious about marking his territory too heavily, it is refreshing to see a designer create a collection that is simplistic without being dull. It is clear that the designer has enormous potential - whether this knowledge will encourage him to be more daring with his collections in the future remains to be seen. 

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