Alexander Wang made a sumptuous return to top form last night in New York with a collection that took us back to the roots of the Wang aesthetic. Remember those old days when we saw street-savvy, sportswear luxe that Wang made so easy to love? The new days look like the old days. Wang's tenure at Balenciaga appears to have focused his mind on what the core of the Balenciaga brand is which has involved digging up some French history and it seems that has rubbed off here. This collection took us back to the Wang that we knew at the beginning.
The collection began with the monochrome pieces that we expect from Wang. A white mesh tunic was clinched at the waist with a barcode patterned material and the model held a clutch which looked obviously and unapologetically like a Nike trainer - the material, the colour, damn, it even had a sole. Wang's sports influences were clear throughout the collection. Neoprene was worked into boxy jackets, Adidas's Stan Smith became a fringed tennis dress and a trio of bodycon dresses in green, blue and orange will have looked familiar to anyone who knows Nike's Flyknits.
But the magic here was the fact that the clothes looked so desirable, so cool, so sexy. There's nothing sexy about a flyknit running shoe, but those dresses were blantly so and the detail on each item was so perfectly thought out and executed. This was sports luxe at its absolute best. The three bralet and trouser combinations that closed the show were the only indication that the designer at the helm is also a Balenciaga man. The red, white, blue and black cross-over bralet was one of those items that sticks in the mind long after it leaves the runway. Come next summer all the girls will be heeding the wise words of Kanye West and spending everything on Alexander Wang.