Had someone told Cristobal Balenciaga that 78 years after he opened his namesake couture house, models would be strutting down the runway to Biggie Smalls, I'm not quite sure he would have believed them.
But that was the reality of Friday evening's spring/summer 2016 show — the last
for Alexander Wang, who was hand-picked to helm the brand just three years ago. The past few seasons for Wang at Balenciaga were successful — particularly in terms of sales
— but they weren't groundbreaking. Each collection, though maintaining the label's delicate-yet-modern aesthetic, featured tons of hints and notes of his own eponymous downtown-cool label. And while the most recent collection certainly veered more toward femininity than the others, it also nodded whole-heartedly at the place Wang will now be focusing 100% of his time and energy: back in New York at his exceptionally hot brand.
For his finale, Wang took the house's sense of girliness and truly made it his own: through a 36-piece, entirely off-white selection of soft silks, cottons, and linens that resembled — in the simplest of terms — really luxe sleepwear. It was lingerie dressing, the Wang way — pairing loose camisoles and undershirts with wide-leggged cargo pants; adding utilitarian details to the most delicate of slip dresses. What was basically said? The Wang girl can always look good —
even when she doesn't
get dressed in the morning.
The closing of this chapter didn't just leave us wondering what's to come for Wang's own collection — and, truthfully, what (and whom) is to come for Balenciaga. It also had us ready to start digging through our underwear drawer and put our silk camis, loose nighties, and boxer shorts to good use. Because really, what else
would the Alexander Wang girl do?