Alexander Wang went sporty more than he ever has before, at least judging from his spring collection, a friendly match between his athletic impulses and his historical perspective as Balenciaga’s newly appointed creative director. But instead of the two mindsets jockeying for position, we saw something resembling harmony, gentle sparring between active New York and chic Paris.
The pairing was often manifest as hybrids, such as running shorts that doubled as normal capris, a white tuxedo jacket tailored out of a neoprene material, and high heels made from a high-performance weave of colors — a little like track shoes with a stiletto. The battle for attention didn’t end there. A series of high-waisted mini-dresses in bright team colors could have been very long sports bras or prototypes for a new athletic line from Azzedine Alaïa. Goddess gowns had modular-shaped insets, while sculpted leather bodices looked ready-made for gladiators of the future, though not when paired with classic cigarette pants with just a touch of contrast piping. A series of jaunty tennis whites did not seem to be cotton, but a tech fabric perforated for breathability. Perhaps they were tested at the US Open.
Toward the end, little black dresses were anything but demure. Rather, they had been garnished with tightly-knit, swirling weaves of bright leather. They were matched only by what came next and last, halter tops in swooping, swooshing colors seemingly taken straight from gym shoes. So who won the friendly match between new and old? Let’s say it was a draw.