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28-02-2013
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I also noticed how much of his F/W 13.14 collection was adapted into this one, this will be fun in the occasion of predicting what he'll do season after season...hope a video of the runway comes up soon.

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28-02-2013
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I'm proud to say I went to the same school as this man, my expectations are beyond surpassed, the forms are divine. I hope he brings out some color for spring!

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28-02-2013
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I'm so pleasantly surprised by this. I don't really have much of an opinion of Alexander Wang--I guess you could most accurately say my feelings toward his own line are lukewarm. I was also never much of a fan of Nicolas Ghesquière.

But this collection is gorgeous... I really thought Alexander Wang was a laughable pick for Balenciaga, but I'm impressed. There's A LOT here that I'd love to wear. Congratulations to him and to Balenciaga, I hope he keeps up the good work.

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28-02-2013
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A great start for him. He managed to attribute his own identity to the clothes without making them as pretentious as his collections sometimes are (I'm not a hater, just to make things clear).
The collection is very chic and tasteful. Not a fan of the footwear, though.

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28-02-2013
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This is actually really great. Good choice !

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sounds like "dirty European aristocracy".....

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28-02-2013
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Well, I've been expecting something lot worse. And this is not bad, actually (except those hideous fluffy sweatshirts in the end, they're awful), the construction in some pieces is really beautiful.

Meanwhile, does the video work for anybody or it's still not up?

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28-02-2013
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Quote:
“It’s a prologue,” said Alexander Wang of his quietly respectful debut collection for Balenciaga. “It was about really going back to the house, to the archive, and the codes that were so true to Cristóbal Balenciaga—with dynamic new materials.”

The white runway floor was fissured with black as though fractured by an earthquake, but there were no seismic shocks in this tightly edited presentation.

Instead, Wang managed to play with some signature house ideas, married to the austere, sculptural quality for which Cristóbal Balenciaga was celebrated in the late fifties and sixties—while never making the clothes look retro.

Skirts had a longer, narrow line, and pants were lean, too—often worn with short crop tops crafted to stand away from the body. There was some fascinating construction—especially in the deep tuck placed horizontally across the back and shoulders of stiffly tailored coats and bolero jackets, or the gentle blousing cowl in back that resolved itself in the front of an elegant, reed-slim evening dress, or a bodice’s seams that curved toward the waist and became a peplum. (These pieces evoked the later work of the ever-inventive Geoffrey Beene, too.)

Accessories were subtle: a high evening pump with a single thong drawn provocatively through the toes and a discreet boxy purse almost camouflaged against the clothes. The figure-eight metal buckle on the riding boot was also used as closure or decoration on the garments, a modern way to revisit the bow when it cinched a waist or clasped a bra band closed.

Wang had wanted a “statuesque, monolithic feeling,” and looked to reinterpret the idea of marble in a number of inventive ways, from the black velvet traceries on organza to the chunky teddy-bear shaved-fox intarsia. Skinny ribbed knits were painted with a gesso effect that covered the surface with an interesting craquelure effect; self-colored piping was embroidered onto a textile’s surface like free-form scribbles, and silk was blistered to resemble a dish full of pearls—or caviar.

It was a thoughtful, pragmatic collection that carried the promise of an intriguing new direction for the house.
source: vogue.com - Hamish Bowles Review

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Last edited by miguelalmeida; 28-02-2013 at 10:11 AM.
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28-02-2013
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There were cries of “sacrilege” and “stupide” when Balenciaga hired Alexander Wang, known by some as an American T-shirt designer. But Mr. Wang delivered an impressive collection on Thursday that should silence his critics for a while.

Of course, Mr. Wang is not only a T-shirt designer, any more than Balenciaga is still the high temple at which the industry worships. Times change. And the only way to actually preserve a house is to periodically examine its foundations and then figure out how to make the structure more pleasing and livable for today.

That’s essentially what Mr. Wang did. Sticking to a basic but elegant palette of black and white with a smidgen of brown and dark green, he poked around in the Balenciaga archive. In the roundness of the opening coats and jackets, with a tracing of fur on the wool, in the gentle sweep of the longer coats, in the cap sleeves and the loose-back tops, there were clear allusions to Balenciaga’s 1950s modernity, as well as ’60s evening styles — like the pink gazar gown with a feathered underskirt now on display at a new haute couture exhibit at Hôtel de Ville.

But Mr. Wang brought his street smarts to those couture volumes that are indelibly Balenciaga. He minimized them so that they looked more realistic for today. He reduced the construction so that, in effect, the look was a top and a pair of trousers, or over-the-knee boots in black suede modestly decorated with silver metal knots. But the results were not boringly minimalist.

Mr. Wang was also clever with textures. Coming out of the show, the designer Joseph Altuzarra, a friend of Mr. Wang’s, praised the textures as well as the easy sense of control. “I thought it was beautiful,” he said. Jackets and tops that appeared to be stiffened wool were in fact knits. Those crackled leather pieces that came out late in the show? Not leather at all but rather painted knits. There were also plastic-looking pieces that looked injection-molded and then rolled in sprinkles. They were embroidered. Some of the loveliest dresses were elongated drapes with a hard bodice of those fake-out French knots.

“I wanted to begin by going back to the roots of the house,” Mr. Wang said, then calling out each piece — the jacket, the skirt, the white shirt — as if identifying his main building blocks. The New York designer can certainly build on these clothes for next season, adding color and maybe more decoration, but if he continues to strike that modern balance between couture and the street, he will renew a great name — and win over doubters.
source: runway.blogs.nytimes.com - Cathy Horyn's Review

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28-02-2013
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Really good job by Alexandre Wang; he should feel proud of this debut. There is faithful adaptation and some of his own signature here, which is striking the right balance. He must have felt a lot of pressure; these are big shoes to fill. But he did surprisingly well. Kudos on a solid first outing!! Impressive.

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28-02-2013
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I have to say that this collection is fantastic. I haven't felt excited by a collection like this in a long time. I'm shocked, baffled, and the teensiest bit embarrassed that it's Alexander Wang who has created exactly what I've been waiting for in fashion. Something decadent, yet sober, something refined, but also street (without looking like "streetstyle"), something sensual yet aloof, it's not fussy but it's not minimal. I could go on.

I've given Wang a pretty hard time in the past, especially when calling him out on copying Mr. Ghesquiere. However - here, now - I do see echoes of Nicolas' work for the house, in particular his earlier collections, but I don't see plagiarism. This all looks decidedly Alexander Wang for Balenciaga. And if he keeps it up, it's something I could definitely get used to.

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28-02-2013
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I'm really pleasantly surprised by this. While I think some of the pieces look exceptionally cumbersome and bulky, and I'm not a huge fan of some of the prints, I really like the rest. It's sharp and a strong debut.

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28-02-2013
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it's certainly better than i expected it would be. but i don't see where you guys get nicholas' collections from 1998-99? first of all those collections were much more fluid,leaner and sharper than what i see here. maybe the more geometric structural side of nicholas that came in the 2000's but certainly not the late 90's. i don't see that at all here. seems some people might be grasping at straws just so one can make a jump to parallels between he and nicholas. but that one is a half-hearted lazy comparison,imo.

needless to say,this is much more positive than i predicted it to be. i don't love it and i'm not bowled over with excitement but there are some redeeming elements and i commend him on not going the predictable route by relying on his own aesthetic nor overtly going previous direction. i do like the way he incorporated texture and i like that he looked at the 50's and 60's works. and i do appreciate that he attempted to do something a bit more innovative with the fabric techniques. the knits that look like leather? for everything that i said prior,i've been unjust and i apologize.


Last edited by Scott; 28-02-2013 at 11:59 AM.
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28-02-2013
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WWD review

Quote:
Fatigue doesn’t resonate with Alexander Wang. “People are like, ‘How are you going to do the next one? Aren’t you so drained?’” Wang said, repeating a question he’s heard often since presenting his fall collection in New York. “I’m just like, ‘No, I’m just so excited, you know!’”

And why not? Fashion’s latest boy-wonder appointment has on his side youth, a well of natural enthusiasm and the thrill inevitable in a new adventure, an all-eyes-on-him one at that.

Balenciaga’s recently installed creative director spoke to WWD Wednesday morning, the day before presenting his debut collection for the house in which he began to etch the “landscape” of his Balenciaga. If, as the house publicist Lionel Vermeil maintained, this was Wang’s prologue, those who expect to follow the story should note two clear points: Wang researched well, and, at least this first time out, created a look for Balenciaga distinct from that of his signature label.

On the second point, while the Alexander Wang aesthetic is very much of the street with the inherent casualness thus suggested, for Balenciaga, the designer went decidedly more dressed up. These clothes were of the chic Power Lady sort, pulled-together and polished with an attitude of sensual authority and clear nods to mid-century couture.

But then, Wang started from the premise of “really wanting to pay homage to Cristobal. I went back and, you know, started with the archives and revisiting the clothes and what I thought was integral to the DNA.”

That translated into a mostly black lineup cut with plenty of curvature, in rounded shoulders, sac-backs and looks from Balenciaga’s apron wedding dresses; Wang turned the concept around, translating the apron shape into cutaway jackets. Not all such moves were intentionally derivative. The first looks out, including a sturdy black coat with fur sleeves, featured rounded back yokes arrived at accidentally during a fitting. “We were pinning the fabric back and I loved the drape, so we worked it into the sleeve,” Wang said.

He lightened the lineup with flashes of white in shirts worn with lean skirts and some terrific knits with a crackled texture inspired by marble, a theme repeated more obviously in swirling prints and velvet burnouts, and in short, puffed-up mink jackets that looked terrific over skinny pants.

Perhaps most surprising, and happily so, this collection didn’t hit you in the face with the overt commercial mandate that many have assumed was behind Wang’s appointment; rather it felt smart, accomplished and well designed. As for its retro quotient, probably inevitable, given the circumstances, Wang delivered it deftly and well. But based on his body of work in New York, it’s hard to imagine him embracing obvious retro over the long haul; he may feel compelled to inject a grittier currency going forward. Nor did the show offer the heady thrill of Nicolas Ghesquiere’s best work, the brilliance of which brought the house from decades of dormancy back into the forefront of fashion until the designer’s tenure there started to sour. But for a collection not a minute more than two months in the making from first glimmer to runway, it made for an impressive start.

Certainly the pressures were considerable for several reasons, including the reputation of his predecessor as one of current fashion’s greatest talents. “Of course, [Ghesquiere’s work] is a big part of the brand, of where it’s been. But in terms of the actual pieces that I looked at, I didn’t look at any of Nicolas,” Wang said. He did identify clear points of connection when examining the archives. “I didn’t even realize certain pieces were originally from Cristobal,” Wang noted. “Going through [archival] pieces I was like, ‘Wow, look at this seam’ or this back or something like that. That’s where it originated. For me, someone from my generation would probably not have put the two and two together. You would probably know [the element of design as being] from Nicolas. Going back to that [the discovery], it was really a big, kind of inspirational moment for me.”

Wang savored his research, from which he distilled his take on the house founder’s ethos, which he described as, “Cristobal’s belief in having the body feel very free and always having movement.” Wang was taken with how different Balenciaga’s clothes looked from various angles. “[He created] that interaction [with the body]; you have the bell shape, the satellite fit and there was a different silhouette from every angle. So we started there, with all the clothes having this swinging movement, things that felt very dynamic.”

Wang has delighted as well in the resources and technologies available to him, exhibited in, for example, the material he used for the pants he paired with his furs: velvet bonded to foam and then laser-cut and re-embroidered.

A levelheaded sort who in a few short years has built his namesake house into a successful brand with global distribution, Wang transported his cool-headed approach to Paris. Asked about essential aesthetic delineation between Alexander Wang and Balenciaga, he admits to a process that is incomplete but necessary. “I can’t say that I have it all figured out,” he said. “On my iPhone I keep lists and lists — just thoughts and key words of things I have to do to separate the two worlds. I think in time it will become more clear. Yes, definitely, it was something that is very important for me to differentiate.”

He is already crystal clear on one point: His role as creative director of Balenciaga is to fuel the commercial ship. He picks one of his runway bags — a small, structured shape with half-moon top-handle and metal feet “that look like ice-skating shoes” and follows immediately with, “and here’s the commercial version.” (It has a shoulder strap.) His runway shoes ranged from flats to stilettos cut to show toe cleavage.

“Right off the bat, it wasn’t like my first meetings were just on designing the collection,” Wang explained. He recalled a discussion with chief executive officer Isabelle Guichot “to kind of understand what’s very important for business and where we needed to go…I was meeting with the merchandising teams; I was meeting the handbags teams, the commercial teams and all of that.”

“All of that” seems not to unnerve him. Nor does his sudden stewardship of one of the most revered creative legacies in fashion. “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t [intimidated initially],” Wang acknowledged. “I mean, those were the hardest weeks of my life — going into this before it was announced.

“Then at a certain point it was just like, you know what? You have to stop thinking about it and focus on the work,” he continued. “You can’t think about it as fear. You have to think about it as a choice. And that is something that is just going to take you and drive you. At that point I just blocked it out of my mind.”
wwd.com

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28-02-2013
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I'm not a fan of the marble effect, but otherwise this is indeed a very good collection from him. Just disappointed the cast didn't have any major names to spice things up a bit.

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28-02-2013
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I think pleasant surprise is the key word here. It's a hundred times what I expected it would be. (I expected it to be a tacky hideous mess.)

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