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Alexander Wang

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ETERNAL OPTIMIST

New York: Alexander Wang knows how to keep the attention of his downtown admirers – always keep them guessing. This season’s ethereal collection was a 180-degree turn from F/W 10’s gothic businesswomen. Wang described his inspiration for the season as being “unconsciously suspended in optimism,” and the new lighter outlook manifested itself with weightless, buoyant garments that felt fresh and new, especially for this typically edgy designer. Airy silks floated away from the body for unstructured dresses, calf-lengths skirts, easy shorts and liquid trench coats, and the palette of pure white, peach-pink, mint, saffron and soft yellow supported the breeziness of the looks. Slouchy openwork knits and lightweight bouclé sweaters had a casual elegance, and cropped wide-leg pants felt cool in a tomboyish way. While the collection as whole was a departure, if one looked closely, familiar elements did emerge. Ribbed, knee-length leggings under shorts referenced his influential sport-inspired collection from a year ago, and motorcycle jackets – some with a cheeky doodle print – spoke to the tough-chic styles that first put Wang on the map. Whether his hip admirers will follow him to the lighter side remains to be seen, but Wang’s fearless new optimism is refreshing and commendable.

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