Paris: The anticipation and, for some, skepticism about Alexander Wang’s inaugural collection as head designer at Balenciaga, was palpable this season. But regardless the debate, it would be difficult to assail what the young American came up with for F/W 13. The pieces were uniformly refined and restrained, stripped bare of Wang’s own trendy downtown it-girl aesthetic and replaced with subtle tributes to Cristobal Balenciaga, some even more successful than past reinterpretations of house classics. The best included high-waist tulip wrap pencil skirts, v-front bib tops and shells that folded open at the back to reveal a hint of Fall’s abstract, mineral print. This motif repeated on simple, curved hem dresses and tail coats, playing into the slow, elemental feeling of the collection as a whole even when rendered in tonal, sparkling embroidery. Painted, crackled mohair knits furthered the glacial moodiness, while twisted barbwire bows appeared as a detail throughout—a muted, clever merger of Wang’s street-savvy roots and Balenciaga’s legendary grace. —Nina Stotler

Silhouette: Slim & fitted / Halter / Curved / Cropped

Color: Black / Deep forest green / White / Charcoal

Key Items: Cropped sleeve coats / Knit tops with a cracked treatment / Wrapped tulip cutaway jackets / High-waist flat front trousers / Elegant elongated wrap pencil skirts / V-front bib shirting / Restrained bandeau dresses / Cropped tops / Slashed halter dresses / Cape back gowns / Curved tail coats / Cropped shaved fur jackets / Slim sheaths

Materials: Refined wool / Cotton / Shaved-fox / Organza / Velvet burnout lace / Paint-coated mohair

Print + Pattern: Abstract mineral swirls

Details + Trim: Miniature flaps / Bib fronts / Tulip wrapping / Peplums / Molded fishtail hems / Cutouts / Round capes / Bullion embroidery / Tucking / Rounded back yokes / Velvet appliqué / Notch collars

Accessories + Footwear: Headbands / Flat leather boots with barb wire embellishments / Boxy ladylike handbags with silver handles / Metallic barbed wire bracelets / Sharp low-cut stilettos / Twisted metal wire collar necklaces / Wire pins


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