Alexander Wang AW14/15

Fashion Details: New York Fashion Week

Runway

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Casting an eye to the future, designer Alexander Wang creates a uniform for battling it out in the urban jungle.

 

FUTURE FOCUS

Bringing function to the fore, Alexander Wang borrowed design cues from the practical garb one might use for outdoor pursuits such as hunting or hiking. His vision for the season had an overriding sense of 'survival of the fittest', except the Wang woman is probably more accustomed to hiking around New York's SoHo district hunting bargains than getting her hands too dirty in the wild.

"I tried to take this idea of function and utility with all the pockets you usually see in sportswear and reinterpret it."
Alexander Wang

"As we started looking at performance wear, what does performance wear look like in a more urban wardrobe?" Wang asks.

Apparently it looks like patch pockets in all sizes and configurations. Just the thing for his customer to arm herself with all the tools and devices she needs to get by in the urban jungle. The clean, sharp shapes lent a sense of no-nonsense futurism and boots were battle-ready: backless, they resembled shin pads.

And with the snow howling around New York, Wang saw leather, neoprene and wool as the way forward in an uncertain world.

"Every season I find ways to interpret the versatility of wools, everything from wool voiles and to the techniques of needle punching," Wang says. "Interpreting very classic wool materials but translating into a new construction."

The pared back tailoring, sensible detailing and grey palette gave the whole collection the look of a uniform that would cover all bases in the big city: a little bleak, but undeniably chic. In a rare moment of rawness, reverse shearling coats and dresses were finished with ragged hemlines, Flintstones style.

And as the show closed, it was back to the future once more as dresses changed colour before the viewer's very eyes. The heat activated leather was reminiscent of the Hypercolour shirts of the 1980s, but given Wang's touch in precision, laser-cut skins the concept was cool once more.

"I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel, clothes exist and heat activation has existed for years," Wang says. "But [we're] taking it into our language."

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