(Images from Vogue, Nymag. All credit to Alexander Wang)
Despite my assumption that New York Fashion week was going to be an inundation of throw around slogans and political trend seeking. It has been impressive the momentum of whining may be petering out. But who knows as there were expectations to this with a slew of designers, positioned in their affluent and intellectual tediums, attempted their impetuous disapproval and apologist excuses – with poorly thought political statements that cheapens actual causes, all the while you make a mockery of what oppression truly means. This, as we know, not only backfires, but assists in the development of something worst. You can work out what that is.
So, it was sobering while at the same time being intoxicating (paradoxically) that Alexander Wang has offered the perfect ambiguously fuck you visual statement of a strong, defiant and I don’t care what you believe I gotta survive collection. Wang’s Fall/Winter 2017 2018 show held a merciless presentation within the Hamilton Theater on 146th Street in Harlem, a broken down and disused theater. Broken worlds and broken lives, only to rebuild and to survive. So impressed by Wang’s Fall/Winter collection for 2017 that it reminds me of this great quote from the 1933 movie “Baby Face”. Between the mysterious cobbler Adolf Cragg and the victimized woman Lily Powers:
Cragg: You’re a coward. I mean it! You let life defeat you. You don’t fight back.
Lily Powers: What chance has a woman got?
Cragg: More chance than man. A woman, young, beautiful, like you, can get anything she wants in the world. Because you have Power over men! But you must use men! Not let them use you. You must be a master! Not a slave. Look, here, Nietzsche says, “All life, no matter how we idealize it, is nothing more nor less than exploitation.” That’s what I’m telling you! Exploit yourself! Go to some big city where you will find opportunities. Use men! Be strong! Defiant! Use men! To get the t’ings you want.
Lily Powers: [contemplative pause] Yeah. [puffs a cigarette]
Vixens, dark eyeliner. Sex, power and survival. A lesson for both women and men that after the insulation of school and college – life is brutal. Clean and tailored cuts, Wang shows his absolute skill in knowing how to arrange a collection so it delivers maximum impact. He has achieved this perfectly. Late 1970s CBGBs punk rock, Chelsea Hotel, down and out models and actresses. Drugs and addiction. With Wang proclaiming that there will be no after party following his Fall/Winter show. A raw and beautiful arrangement. It’s not pretty and it’s shouldn’t be, beauty in it’s perseverance is strength. The scars from life’s battle. An exceptional show and collection. Fused with a subtle irony that is Alexander Wang.