We’ve complained before that designers should be a little more theatrical with their shows, amp up the production and the performance, and make the whole rigamarole that goes into going to fashion week feel like it’s about more than just looking at pretty (and often not-so-pretty) clothes. Alexander Wang‘s fall display did just that.
Wang stuck with the mirrored block runway set up he’s used in past seasons, sending models out — their faces half covered with fishnet turtlenecks and high leather collars — in a somewhat convoluted figure-eight pattern. The staging was dark and dramatic, which suited the post-apocalyptic but decidedly refined styles, and was in keeping with the theme of the show: “suffocation”.
A soundtrack of pounding bass and heaving drums pumped so loudly through the lofty pier that the audience (us) could see ourselves rumbling in the vibrating mirrors which, depending on where you looked, showed more of the crowd than the clothes. And that was perhaps the only problem — the atmosphere was just dark and grungy enough to feel interesting, but the sparse lighting meant that for every turn the models took, another detail was lost.
But clothing aside — what a show it was. The program notes made no mention of the supermodels we’d heard were prepping backstage, asking only that patrons “remain seated” after the show. When a pint-size blonde in gold lame darted to her front row seat just minutes before the show began, we hoped (in vain) for a surprise Die Antwoord performance. Instead, we got an encore of Gisele, Carmen Kass, Shalom Harlow, Karolina Kurkova, among others, who walked the mirrored maze and then posed in front of individual boxes before tearing their masks off and turning to face the cheering crowd.
this is some kind of spaceship or something.