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Brief Published: 20 Feb 2015

NYFW A/W 15-16: Alexander Wang

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Alexander Wang’s show for New York Fashion Week moved away from his signature sports silhouettes and materials, and offers gothic applications for the accessories market.

Wang was inspired by subcultures for which the colour black is a staple – think goths and heavy metal ‘hair’ bands such as Kiss and Led Zepplin. Notably, this collection was a departure from sportswear for the designer, who counts himself among the first to bring street-sports looks into the luxury ready-to-wear market. 

With the rise of mass-market athleisurewear, not least Wang’s own collaboration with Swedish high-street brand H&M (see more on this in the Future of Athleisurewear), this could be a clever move to reposition his brand.

  • Metal Hardware Decoration: Simple silhouettes and pieces were toughened up by silver hardware – a strong update for knitwear. Ball-chain trims, wallet chains hanging from belt loops, and chain fringing all feature. Turtleneck underlays are given a spikey edge with silver studding – pointing to a trend for embellished second skins with interesting layering potential (also seen in Christian Dior’s Pre-Fall 2015 show).
  • Frankenshoes: Footwear can similarly pull a directional message, with gothic, punk platforms studded with silver spikes and studs worn best with feminine dress shapes.
  • Rough Robes: Dressing gowns hemmed with studs riff on the pyjama loungewear trend that has continued over many seasons and offers contemporary applications for outerwear.
  • Gothic Grooming: The beauty and hair styling also offered a key message at this early stage in the A/W 15-16 season. References to American alternative rocker Marilyn Manson and the iconic, dark, punk attitude of 70s rock band Kiss were key references, seen in ghostly faces plastered with oily strands of hair.
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