Alexander Wang

Apparently in a bullish mood, Alexander Wang chose as his venue the Cunard Line building on Wall Street. In front stands a large bronze sculpture of a charging bull with a majestic pair of, let’s say, Dow Jones, sending many a tourist into a fit of giggles before rubbing them for good luck. And why shouldn’t Wang, Balenciaga’s new creative director, be feeling lucky—or ballsy?

The Cunard Line building is also home to a particularly grand vaulted lobby befitting the luxury ship company, whose former glory Wang may have wanted to tap into as he prepares to dock in Paris later this month. Likewise, the lush textures in the fall collection recalled a bygone era of opulent, elegant travel. Furs and skins—particularly ponyskin in a deep rust, the only non-grayscale color to make an appearance—were draped, tucked, folded, pinched, and puckered every which way. With Woolmark as a sponsor, high-end wools such as alpaca and astrakhan figured prominently, rounding out Wang’s most seductively tactile collection ever, surely. One could imagine the models backstage, in their fur mittens and sleeves, playfully pawing each other as they vamped for the camera.

The effect was one of thoughtful sensuousness from Wang, with nary a hint of overt sexuality—which is to say, no cleavage, no mini-skirts, and no bodycon to speak of, while the peek-a-boo cutouts of last season were kept to a minimum. A series of cashmere balaclavas lent to the chic chasteness. The model Malgosia, looking ever more neo-classical and stately with age, closed the show in an ivory satin deep-V two-piece and a smoky mauve fur jacket that seemed to float around her. All that was missing was a extra-dry martini in her hand.

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