September 8th, 2014
High fashion’s relationship with sneakers has evolved from thinly veiled contempt, to begrudging acceptance, and finally obsessive love. In the past few years every designer from Karl Lagerfeld to Raf Simons has experimented with the athletic standard, amping up your average Nike to couture level with artful embellishment. With his innate connection to youth culture and sportswear know-how, Alexander Wang would seem like the ideal man to continue the haute sneaker revolution. Indeed, Wang has turned out a few of his own takes on the classic kicks (his Jess trainers are particularly fetching), but Spring found the designer looking beyond the straightforward.
In order to salute sneakers properly, Wang eliminated them from his runway and focused instead on the elements that make sneakers essential. The sporty construction, bright colors, and ease of wear are all part of the fun and those were the ideas that made their way onto Wang’s runway. Perforated textures, rubberized accents, and kinetic graffiti-esque patterns served to add flavor to the collection, while models toted soon to be sold-out handbags that mimicked the look of old school Jordans and Filas. The inventiveness of the accessories hammered home the show’s central theme and filled the audience with a welcome sense of nostalgia.
On the backs of the impressive model lineup, the collection felt exactly like a Wang collection should: vital, vigorous, and on the pulse. The cutting-edge cast was just as interesting with lithe Texan Vanessa Moody leading a pack of beauties that included several familiar faces alongside fresh finds, like Aleah Morgan and So Ra Choi.