By Alexandra Smith, Chief Features Editor
Brands nowadays can no longer simply sell garments. They need to sell a vibe, a mood, a feeling, and then have to prove that through the aesthetic of their clothes, the consumer will be able to experience that feeling. Fashion week is a chance to prove to fashion’s elites—and then to the rest of the world—that their clothes will be able to do that.
Some brands chose to do this simply by showcasing the clothes themselves. Designers like Calvin Klein, Public School, and almost all couture designers opt to go this route. They display their clothes during Fashion Week in a blank canvas and allow the clothes themselves to engross the senses.
The other option, is to make the show a spectacle. Use performers, venues and messages to supplement the powerful aesthetic of your clothes. Alexander Wang almost always falls into that second category, and his Fall 2017 show was no exception.
“No After Party” was plastered all over the walls in the decrepit Harlem venue in which his show took place. Ironically (and maybe a bit too obviously so), his last ad campaign video took celebrities, including Big Sean, Zoe Kravitz, Skrillex and others and filmed them in a mansion having what looked like a party what most of us would kill for an invitation to. A$AP Ferg performed and the show had no seating. Guests watched the show from the mosh pit. This by all means was a spectacle-type show.
The clothes themselves were almost all black and, with the exception of the occasional piece with studs or fringe, the collection was unembellished—but that didn’t mean they were boring. They had a range of silhouettes from outfits with blazers that were down to the knee to mini-dresses that showed off the upper thigh. These clothes look young, and the woman who wears them shows her body off, but doesn’t necessarily look promiscuous. These clothes are edgy, but don’t seem to be isolating. The wearer of these clothes seems to be restless, but paradoxically self-assured. They aren’t for someone who wavers.
Where can I wear these clothes? And are they actually unique or do am I just buying into some damn good advertising and the fact that Bella Hadid wears them? These are valid questions one could ask, but just like the seemingly blatantly ironic “No After Party” slogan, the clothes reveal something slightly more nuanced. “No After Party” seems to say the time is right now. You can look as sexy as you want, or as tough as you want, right now. A less cliché carpe diem.
And okay, maybe I did need the abandoned building venue and the “No After Party” to get that message. Maybe I do like that Bella Hadid wears the clothes. But regardless, now I want that feeling. I want those clothes.
Medine, Leandra. “Alexander Wang Fall 2017 Review.” Man Repeller. N.p., 13 Feb. 2017. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.
Givhan, Robin. “Alexander Wang Brings the Catsuit Back from the ’90s, and It Feels like the Future.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 12 Feb. 2017. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.
Photograph courtesy of Vogue