The headline from the Alexander Wangshow tonight (other than the last-minute arrival of Madonna—the girl has always known how to make an entrance) was the unveiling of the designer’s collaboration with Adidas Originals. The #WangSquad took their finale lap in black tees, sweatshirts, hoodies, basketball shorts, and tearaway pants bearing the iconic white stripes and inverted versions of the brand’s famous logo. Wang said the project was a year in the making: “I looked at what’s theirs, what they own, and I flipped it, literally and aesthetically.”
He approached his new Spring collection in similar ways: by deconstructing wardrobe basics like the button-down, merging male and female signifiers including pinstriped tailoring and black lace, suggesting seriously unlikely pairings such as Hanne Gaby Odiele’s sheared white mink bathrobe coat, bra top, and board shorts, and otherwise subverting the natural grown-up order of things. The kids are going to love it!
Wang was after a similar effect last season, but the way he went about it then was less subtle. It doesn’t get much more clichéd than pole dancer prints. Backstage he called this show, “50 Shades of Grey meets Lords of Dogtown.” Sex is still essential to the message, but he went about delivering it in a way that felt truer to brand Wang, tapping into his California roots. It didn’t all boil down to a bathing suit, but it came close. There were bikini tops made from button-down fabric and silk evening numbers modeled after bikinis. Rash guards morphed into clingy knit dresses and boudoir-ish slips were cut in neon tracksuit material. This wasn’t radical stuff, but it was cool. And it gibes with what a seatmate described as social media’s tendency to turn all of us, but maybe young women most of all, into exhibitionists. Wang has always been in step with the zeitgeist. In fact, it was so cool that anybody over, oh, say, 35 (with the exception, of course, of dear old Madge), might’ve left feeling alienated. For people like us? There’s the Adidas collab.