A year ago, for his first Resort collection at Balenciaga, Alexander Wang took his lead from Cristobal Balenciaga's coastal town in Spain. Today, he returned to the sea, looking at modern sailboats. "At the beginning, it was about the idea of architectural forms and symmetry, the 360-degree view," Wang explained backstage. "Here, I wanted to work with asymmetry, cutting more fluidly."
His sailboat starting point came through in any number of ways. A canvas miniskirt was stamped the way sailcloth is with the house's Paris address. The collection's utilitarian outerwear was influenced by the sturdy shape of foul-weather gear. And on the accessories front, Wang couched clear Perspex clutches in corded silk fishnet sacks, and sent the models out in honest-to-goodness galoshes with python insoles. Silver necklaces and bracelets were cast from real shells. If the bareness of the look jibed with the sailing metaphor, there was a surprising number of exposed midriffs and uncovered thighs. It's a Resort collection, yes, but you want to see Wang stretch a bit more. His most sophisticated variation on the theme came toward the end of the show, in a series of draped tops and jackets with trailing asymmetric hems modeled directly from the triangular shape of sails. We can picture those becoming a thing on dry land.