Thursday, February 17, 2011

NYFW: Alexander Wang's "Lost Beautifulness"

Alexander Wang / Image via The Vine

I'm always drawn to those shows that seem to have a real, thought out theme behind them. Like photographers who can tell you why they took a certain shot, designers with shows like these are able to bring you into the fold of their imagination, and can make mere cloth become a meaningful creation before your eyes.

In this category, my favorite so far has been Alexander Wang's show. His mink-wrapped sunglasses, ski bunny tuxedo jackets, and shredded-cummerbund evening gowns, all underlined by stadium lighting and seating, do an awesome job of poking fun at and "disenchanting" decadence. They show the extremes to which people compete to be "in," turning glamor itself into a sport. Wang lovingly dubs his muse "the rich bitch housewife," but I felt the show completely eclipsed the cliche that a line like that suggests.

Despite the obvious element of wealth in this show, something about it reminds me of Anzia Yezierska's "The Lost Beautifulness," where a poor woman trashes her once-beautiful home to avoid giving her landlord the satisfaction of kicking her out. This idea of the modern woman, caught between grunge and sophistication, both rebellious and elegant, is present in much of Wang's work (and that's probably why I love it so much!)

Images via Vogue
More to come on New York Fashion Week! Stay tuned :)

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