I find it very difficult figuring out what I think about Alexander Wang. I used to be very comfortable disliking him, and being judgmental about the girls that wore his clothes, and would smugly dismiss his collections for being style over substance gone mad. And I generally still do think that! Remember his homage to baseball? Yeah nice concept and the styling was kind of cool but pick the outfits apart there's not much to wear. Same thing with his witchy office workers - for a guy who supposedly creates clothes that 'real girls' wear, the collection was more costume than wearable.
But then he had to go and throw a spanner in the works for me with Autumn '11 because goddamit I really really liked it. I even have some shoes from it! It's super glossy and glam and over the top and the heavy use of pom poms and fur was very compelling (critics can talk all they want about how fluffy fur is an intellectual, ironic take on new luxury or whatever, but deep down everyone just gets gleeful over a good pom pom). But I think what was impressive about the show is that he finally got smart with proportions and tailoring. It's like with previous collections he had all these great ideas but couldn't translate them 100% because of a lack of dressmaking skills. Reviews made a big deal about how this collection was "Wang grown up", which was mainly a response to the inclusion of 'luxury' elements like fur and satin and big coats, but I think it was just the first time the clothes looked like they fit right.
Of course this is all last season. You might have thought this was a heartwarming tale of the hate of a designer turned to love forever - but for Spring '12 he was right back to annoying me with a bunch of ugly Nascar outfits. Ah well, there's always February...
all images from vogue.com