Like most pop songs, Alexander Wang’s shows succeed most in flashes, in a vacuum, with the little things counting most. Shoes, handbags and isolated elements of combined looks fare marvelously on their own, meaning women can cherry-pick what they like from each collection without having to commit to head-to-toe wardrobe acquisitions (or their price points).
That bodes well for Fall 2012, though it is admittedly somewhat of a sidestep for the designer, who scored splendidly last season with a Balenciaga-informed take on elevated sportswear concepts. This season, he tried to pull off a Hussein Chalayan-level feat, paying attention to climate change, weather and coarsening his muse for that journey without bringing much charm to the process.
But at least there’s the “turtlenets.” That’s right: Wang’s series of mesh, netted pullovers stole the show for us, albeit probably by accident. Never mind the fussed-over lacquered leathers they hid under: here’s a novel take on a classic staple, a twist on a linchpin item with tremendous compatibility and styling potential.
Though they seem pernicious – mimicking both balaclavas and gas masks – these convertible basics provided the craveworthy moment of his patchy season. Expect to see them permeate dystopian editorials and be scooped up by girls relying on accessible edge to define their look. These days, that could include spitfire Yo-landi Visser of Die Antwoord, Wang’s newest musical allies and front-row guests at his show this weekend.