PARIS (AFP) ― New York fashion star Alexander Wang last Thursdsay presented his much anticipated first show for Balenciaga with a collection praised as “elegance, modernity, structure.”
Wang paid homage to the founder of the illustrious fashion house Cristobal Balenciaga in what he modestly described as a “prologue.”
Wang, one of the hottest names in U.S. fashion who also has his own label, was announced last December as a replacement for Nicolas Ghesquiere whose surprise departure came after 15 years during which he propelled Balenciaga back to the design frontline.
Speaking after the show, dominated by sleek, elegant looks in black and white, Wang said he aimed to appeal to women of all backgrounds.
“It’s a global mindset. I have always had that intention in dressing. It’s an attitude, it’s a sensibility. It’s never defined by a certain age, a certain background,” he said.
“Balenciaga had such a multicultural background, coming from Spanish roots, but being a Parisian house. That in itself is already such a global way of thinking,” he added.
Francois-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of PPR, the luxury group that owns Balenciaga said Wang had excelled in producing a collection under huge pressure.
The French fashion house, which Balenciaga founded in 1919 and closed in 1968, is now one of the jewels in the PPR crown.
“It’s exceptional. He has an intimate knowledge of the label in such a short period. Even I was surprised, he arrived in December!” said Pinault.
Asked to sum up the collection in a few words, he said simply: “Elegance, modernity, structure.”
The 29-year-old Wang, born in California to Taiwanese parents, has also continued his independent New York-based house alongside his Balenciaga duties.
Launched in 2007, the highly successful label specialises in relaxed chic with a streetwise edge.
Giving its verdict on the collection, trade journal Women’s Wear Daily said it had not offered the ‘the heady thrill of Nicolas Ghesquire’s best work”.
But it added, “for a collection not a minute more than two months in the making from first glimmer to runway, it made for an impressive start”.