The Alexander Wang girl has always been one to stand out from the crowd. We see her as someone with confidence, who is self-assured. She is strong and sets her own trends. She’s a little like Wang himself, who recently debuted “Collection 1,” the first of his new two-season retail business model that completely ignores the traditional seasonal schedule. Earlier this week, on the rooftop of New York City’s touristy South Street Seaport, Alexander Wang and his gang of top models sported trendsetting looks sure to inspire everyone’s wardrobes, from the executive offices of the biggest companies right down to the dance floors of urban nightclubs.

In a spectacle of miniskirts, leather, Axl Rose bandanas, American football jerseys, Chinatown references, and western Bolo ties, Wang took his audience on a journey across America, pulling inspiration from his own parents’ immigration experience. Blending together traditional Americana with Chinoiserie and his own heritage, the designer presented a diverse range of pieces fit for every kind of Wang Gang member. Tailgating? Get one of the AW football jerseys. In the office? Try on Anna Ewers’ blazer for size. Searching for a party-chic look? Go for the safety-pin bra top.

Wang styled many models with leather belts, wide shoulders, and small waists, complementing the ideal female frame while still presenting a tough-girl look. A perfect harmony of feminine and masculine energy is a challenge many designers struggle with, but it is one of the characteristics of Wang’s designs that sets him apart. These harnessed looks went further than the clothes: faces of models were first stickered and then painted to create the illusion of leather straps across the face, complete with star details, a signature symbol of the USA.

Over the past few resort 2019 shows, there has been a noticeable western and grunge influence scattering the runways. The AW show proved that the Americana-rooted Harley-Davidson aesthetic isn’t going anywhere. Whether this is a statement from American designers to show patriotism despite recent political controversies and ideologies spearheaded by their orange-tinted leader or a response to the notion that the American market is not exciting as it once was, the fashion world’s aesthetic is certainly experiencing a ripple effect of the American Dream. As aforementioned, Wang’s inspiration for the first collection of his unique show schedule was the immigration journey of his parents, who arrived in the U.S. in 1973. They arrived without knowing the language or culture but determined to build a better life for their family. He was able to translate their story into clothes, expressing a new narrative of what inclusivity in today’s world looks like.

Wang’s loyal gang, including his father, showed face. Some of the designer’s – and world’s – favourite models of the past decade walked the show, including Behati Prinsloo, Lara Stone, Mariacarla Boscono, Liu Wen, Binx Walton, Kaia Gerber, and Jessica Miller.

Whether or not you’re ready to make the jump into a Bret Michaels-approved wardrobe, Alexander Wang certainly presented a new flair of American fashion. His impressive independence and customer-focused calendar – one that goes against the grain of every other major house to produce two off-season shows a year each encompassing 6-month product periods – notifies fans that creativity and innovation of New York-based designers still existsWith attention moving to the fashion capitals overseas, American influence continues to make its way into the closets of fashion fans around the world. After this impressive show from Wang, we’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds for his new venture – and how many of these pieces will inspire the appearance of copy-cat items on the shelves of Zara and other fast-fashion retailers worldwide.

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Jane Bradshaw

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