Harry Carr

nyfw: sneaker gangs at alexander wang spring/summer 15

The designer explores the iconography of American sportswear.

by Adam Fletcher
|
08 September 2014, 8:45pm

Harry Carr

Are you a Nike girl or an Adidas girl? Last night, Alexander Wang showed a high-energy, so-right-now collection based around the deceptively simple concept of sneaker gangs. As he explained backstage, the spring season was all about "the iconography of sneakers. The cult of sneakers and what makes you a part of a gang." From the primary and neon woven plissé looks that evoked modern running sneakers like Nike Flyknits, to the pristine white and kelly-green tennis looks modeled after classic Adidas Stan Smiths, all the kicks of our youth had their moment on the runway.

From the primary and neon woven plissé looks that evoked modern running sneakers like Nike Flyknits, to the pristine white and kelly-green tennis looks modeled after classic Adidas Stan Smiths, all the kicks of our youth had their moment on the runway.

In a year when Wendy Davis stood her ground in neon pink Mizunos and street-style blogs chronicled the rise of multi-colored sneakers, a sneaker-inspired collection absolutely captures the zeitgeist. But rather than belaboring the concept with exaggerated parallels or, well, actual sneakers, Alex kept the looks squarely in the ready-to-wear universe. Artfully crafted plissé bustiers were paired with high-waisted cigarette slacks, and short neon body-con dresses were ready for the dance floor. The designer referenced Madame Grès and Fortuny: "Things that felt very handworked and artisanal."

So what do an Alexander Wang dress and a brand-new sneaker have in common? Quite simply, they share the power of the product, that satisfied feeling of a new purchase that feels just right. Alex often uses the word "obsession", whether he's talking about the importance of reinterpreting his customer's obsessions, or describing his own obsession with iconic sneakers. His strength as a designer lies in offering up new, ready-made obsessions season after season. We will all be going into spring with a mental shopping list of woven elastic high heels, pleated bustiers, and streamlined dresses.

As I finished my interview with Alex, I stumbled slightly (ok, not so slightly) on my absurdly impractical 5-inch Céline platforms. We laughed and acknowledged that I would have been way better off wearing... sneakers, of course.

Credits


Text Rory Satran
Photography Harry Carr

Tagged:
Interviews
New York
FASHION WEEK
Alexander Wang
NYFW
New York Fashion Week
SS15
womenswear
fashion interview