Sneakers on the runway! You’ve heard that line before. (Trainers have had a good year so far—see Dior’s and Chanel’s Fall Couture collections, for starters.) But in the case of today’s terrific Alexander Wang show, it means something new. Wang, a sneakerhead if ever there was one, used the sporty shoes as a leitmotif, reinterpreting iconic styles as clothes. Nike’s familiar Flyknits were reimagined as clingy body-con dresses in electric colors, while the signature white and green of Adidas’ Stan Smiths became—what else?—tennis dresses.
It could’ve gone in a gimmicky direction. We suppose a foam-injected leather dress that looked like running shoe tread came close, but otherwise these were sexy clothes that women are going to want and wear. We’re thinking, in particular, of a series of colorful, flippy little minidresses made from tiny pleats and worn over second-skin black turtlenecks—like techno Madame Grès or 21st-century Fortuny. He mentioned both figures at a preview. Wang has always been a designer who prefers to look forward rather than back. Maybe his time at Balenciaga is turning him on to fashion history?
Either way, this was good stuff. Especially in contrast to last season’s show, where he seemed to make a point of getting the models to look as unsexy as possible. This collection reconnects him to his early days, circa roughly ’07 to ’09, when girls first started falling in love with his streetwise downtown cool. Today the new Wang was the old Wang, only with a lot more artisanal details. We’re calling it early: The high-waisted slim-line pants he showed with fitted tees and racy plissé camis will be one of the defining silhouettes of Spring ’15.