The departure of Alexander Wang as creative director from Balenciaga saddens me. I loved what he did with the house in three short years. No one who is talking is saying why he left, we are all left to speculation. Perhaps we will never know, and perhaps it doesn’t matter why. Maybe we just thank him for the beautiful clothing he created while at Balenciaga, and wish him good fortune in taking his eponymous label to the next level. Rumor has it (per The New York Times) he is about to land a minority outside investor, and perhaps his attention is best applied at home, after all when one invests a lot of money they want to feel the love!
As for his farewell Balenciaga collection, it was a softer, freer collection than he has created for the storied house. A single color, off-white, lingerie feel in luxurious silks, cottons and linens, infused with a street attitude that reads — Alexander Wang was here! Yet, plenty of work went into this laid back collection, as witnessed in the smocking, ruching, and ladder stitching. “When you know it’s your last anything, you say, ‘Let’s take a risk,’ what do you have to lose?” Wang said backstage. “At a house that’s known for innovation, I thought, ‘Let’s think about it the opposite way, let’s think about fabrics and shapes that feel supple and simple, but approach them in an artisanal, couture way.’ ”
I, for one, will miss witnessing the two sides of Wang, but delight in the anticipation of what lies ahead for him and his brand.
Speaking of soft and simple, Raf Simmons previewed another breath-taking collection for Spring 2016. He mused about his motivation backstage, talking about keeping things quiet and less elaborate: “It’s a calm one, and very soft—away from the overdone. I didn’t want to embellish. So I was thinking about the South of France—rainbows and the simple things. And there’s a bit of Victoriana: something of that film Picnic at Hanging Rock. With a slight sexual undertone of darkness.”
At the core were scallop-edged handkerchief cotton dresses or tops and shorts in sheer cotton organdie. The latter visible under neath bias-cut organza dresses, shapely black bar jackets, with a delicate pleated hem, thrown-on parkas, one with a flourish of 3-D flowers, and cropped knits, fitted or oversized.
The sexual undertone he alluded to came in the form of tight scarves and chockers at the neck, each carrying a single jewel and dangling a metal tag, some of which read 1947, the date of Dior’s revolutionary New Look collection.