March 6, 2015
“The society women, the aristocrats, the regal women.” Alexander Wang said he started working on his new Balenciaga collection by thinking about Cristóbal’s original clientele. Not only them, but also the customers today, and how they want their opulence served up with a little subversion. To set the tone, the show began with a performance by Lady Gaga, who stalked down the runway, hands on waist and hips a-swinging, a pair of photographers catching the whole thing on tape.
Wang’s shapes were straight out of the archives: a cocoon coat, rounded jackets with stand-up collars, bubble skirts—all of it decorated to the hilt with paste jewelry, like the ladies would’ve done back in the day, only with the real stuff. In most cases, the fabrics remained quite couture, like nubby tweeds, windowpane checks. It was the details that gave the clothes the edge Wang was talking about: Metal staples lined the diagonal seams of skirts, black leather belts stood in for proper collars, and tiny razor blades were sutured together to create the fitted shirt of the finale dress. For every fur collar there was another one made from wire rings linked together. Many of the looks, cocktail dresses included, were paired with flat boots.
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