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Brief Published: 26 Sep 2013

PFW S/S 2014: Balenciaga


After a generally well-received first collection last season, Alexander Wang continued to hone his talent at the helm of Balenciaga, showing a covetable fusion of the fashion house’s archive and his personal take on contemporary sportswear for Spring/Summer 2014.

There was a girlish, fairytale note to Wang’s offering – a mood previously untapped by the young American designer, known for his urban, sexy aesthetic. Sugary hues, off-the-shoulder ruffles and bejewelled cocktail dresses felt nonchalant and girly. On reflection of his eponymous mainline collection, it feels as though the designer has looked to pre-teen high-school inspirations for the season, with subtle instances of a subversive take on the 90s movie Clueless coming through in both shows.

However, this saccharine chapter was tempered by Wang’s signature sharp cuts, athletic accents (striped cropped tops and track shorts) and the use of clean, sculpted leather. The tailored, double-breasted white coat-dresses with sheer sleeves and skirts summed up this balance of soft meets strong.

There was a primness to the little A-line skirts with matching tops and peplum topped trousers, while the high-neck monochrome cape dresses with sweeping folds felt anything but sweet. Satin was cemented as the fabric of the season, with Wang using the textile to add luminosity and softness to his take on Cinderella gowns.

The rounded torso and shoulder cape were silhouette details continued from last season, and felt entirely Wang in their inception. While last season saw Wang focus on honouring the iconic fashion house, S/S 14 hinted at the designer loosening up and putting his own stamp on the label.

Paris Fashion Week runs until October 2 2013.