Cristóbal Balenciaga hailed from a small coastal town in Spain called
Getaria. It was in the archives there that Alexander Wang found inspiration for his new collection. As he established back in February, Wang has a deep respect for the house's codes. Resort has the signature Balenciaga volumes, the ovoid shapes, and the petal hems we saw on the Fall runway, only this time layered on top of fluid underskirts. The squiggle prints, all traceable to Cristóbal, felt like a continuation of the marbleized designs Wang did last season. And the restricted color palette, too—just white, black, and shades of gray—was in keeping with his debut. Continuity can't hurt during this time of transition for the brand.
Where it felt like Wang was putting his sporty imprint on things was with pieces like the short shorts, which came draped across the front or with wings down the side seams, the bolero-cum-bra-tops, and the petal bustiers sliced into midriff-baring bandeaux. As a rule, these were a tad clunky, even if all of fashion has embraced exposed abs.
The dresses were more assured. A white number with a band draped across the shoulder and a bodice that was as fitted as the back was loose looked both of-the-moment and elegant in a timeless way. Same went for a black style that we were told riffed on an archival bustier dress. In Wang's hands, it was much softer, not really a bustier at all with its open back.
Bucket hats covered in shredded plastic and sandals embroidered in the
same stuff were unexpected, and they may be too quirky to inspire
widespread lust. In some ways, it feels like Wang is still feeling himself
into his role here, which is only to be expected. Overall, though, this
collection—and those dresses in particular—represented another step