The 10 Trends We Will Forever Associate With Alexander Wang

Photo: MCV Photo.
It’s a Friday night, and you’ve got plans. If you’re thinking about wearing a pair of black leather boots with your sexy-but-not-that-kind-of-sexy black dress and bedhead braid, you’ve got one man to thank: Alexander Wang.
The wunderkind designer defined the downtown look for the past decade and gave us the philosophical counterpoint to the fluorescent, bandage dress, “going-out” girl. She parties as hard, stays out as late, and works a dance floor better than anyone else. But, Wangsters do it in leather jackets and ankle boots, and her drink is made with tequila — not low-cal vodka.
Although the trends have changed — and so has her tolerance for well drinks — she's been loyal to Wang throughout the years, even as she moved her weekend nights from Lower East Side dive bars to Bushwick warehouses.
Alexander Wang is as relevant as ever, and he's enjoyed nearly ten years at the forefront of our closets. In fact, we bet some of the looks you remember most from the times you raged the hardest were inspired by this designer. Since we assume Wang’s got big plans tonight to celebrate his 30th birthday (involving night sports, most likely), we’re going to do a little toasting on our end too by revisiting some trends, styling tricks, and items that have been knocked off, copied, and DIY’d a thousand times over that started with Wang.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Alt Accessorizing — fall 2008

From thin-knit black beanies to those Erin Wasson-made (but Bliss Lau-inspired) body chains, Wang gave downtown kids their own versions of diamond studs and headbands to lust after.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
The Formal Bermuda

Wang was doing the unflattering-but-cool, above-the-knee cocktail-Bermuda-short pant since before the idea ever crossed your mind. Though the styles eventually began veering more surf-inspired than maître d-inspired, we still credit him whenever we pair our fancy shorts with heels.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
The Erin Wasson Uniform — spring 2008

In torn cut-offs, slip-on flats, an oversized blazer, and a slouchy T-shirt, Erin Wasson’s specific blend of L.A.-meets-NYC was directly represented in Wang’s spring collection. Cue your obsession with perfectly cut, white tanks and thrifting for tweedy-gray blazers in the men’s department.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
The Sexy Parka

Outerwear has only recently become one of Alexander Wang’s strong points, but it’s quickly become a defining strength of his. His jackets are gratuitously utilitarian, but always have a heavy dose of whimsy, and are instantly recognizable in real life.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
The Messy Side-Braid — spring 2010

In 2010, you couldn’t walk down the street without spotting at least a couple girls sporting the bedhead side-braid. With a deep, side part, piece-y fringe, and a haphazard plait, this was the “long-hair don’t care” go-to ‘do for the time.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Hip-Hop Logos 2.0 — spring 2014
Your heroes might have been sporting Tommy and Polo back in the ‘90s (and their albums sported that iconic "parental advisory" sticker), but you’re mixing it up for the ‘10s in Alexander Wang and a different sort of explicit content.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Tell-Tale Hardware — fall 2011

While we can’t be sure that Alexander Wang was the first to ever reinforce the corners of his leather goods with silver tips and rivets, or place Rolo-shaped studs on a bag, we can say he’s made a couple hardware elements his motif.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Slouchy Crossbodies — fall 2008

That fall was the first collection Alexander Wang debuted a 10-piece bag line. Since then, his pebbled, snake-chained bags have become one of his (and our) staples. It also gave the chain crossbody some downtown cool, and girls were swapping out their clutches and prissier night-out bags for these hands-free wonders.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Moth-Eaten Sweaters — spring 2009

Wang has always employed clever material technologies into his clothing, infusing really comfortable textiles with really cool techniques. His spring ’09 collection took those moth-eaten, threadbare sweaters you had and made them high-fashion.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
Fashion Sweats — spring 2009

That first Thanksgiving you showed up in sweats, a blazer, and high heels almost gave Grams a conniption, but these days, your heather grays have become as ubiquitous in fancy company as blazers or shift dresses.
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Photo: MCV Photo.
The Anti-Bandage Dress — pre-fall 2010

Tight, revealing, and short. Alexander Wang’s dresses were basically the same thing as bandage dresses, yet they were also the complete opposite. Severe and strategically modest (you either had a low neckline or a high hemline — but never both!), these dresses were sexy.