Alexander Wang goes urban gothic, Lacoste takes flight at NYFW

Alexander Wang ditched the bright lights and glitzy skyscrapers of New York on Saturday to stage his latest fashion show against a backdrop of crumbling decay in a disused Harlem theatre.


Alexander Wang - Fall-Winter2017 - Womenswear - New York - © PixelFormula


Celebrity guests Kylie Jenner, rapper Tyga, Zoe Kravitz and ASAP Rocky were among those whisked to the RKO Hamilton Theater.

The former cinema, in what is now a gentrifying neighbourhood, has been through previous incarnations as a church, an arena, a disco and retail space, perhaps exemplifying the rise and fall of urban communities hard hit by the collapse of manufacturing across America.

Its location in West Harlem's Hamilton Heights had another subliminal message of cool: it takes its name from Alexander Hamilton, the founding father and inspiration for Broadway's hottest ticket in town "Hamilton," who lived in the area when it was farmland.

The show opened with a thumping beat and blue strobe lighting, as the models stomped out in Wang's signature black and sharply tailored urban cool, all messy hair, tight leather and gothic eye make-up.

It was a conservative look, with just a hint of cleavage. Models of the moment Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner were among those who powered down the criss-crossing runway, the lights flashing over the decayed backdrop that made it look like a grandiose nightclub from the past.

Wang, the young superstar who defines downtown cool, stuck to his playbook of black, black and yet more black punctuated by occasional grey tweed, animal print and silver metallic fringes on breast pockets.

If it was generally body hugging, it was also conservative by fashion standards: necklines were largely high, and cropped shorts and mini ra-ra skirts worn over tight leather leggings.

T-shirts were similarly layered over tight long leather sleeves while silver studs decorated the waist line of pants, and jersey dresses made sexy with a diagonal cut over legging-encased thighs.

COSMIC LACOSTE

Meanwhile French sportswear label Lacoste was inspired by space for its last show in New York before relocating to Paris in September as part of a wider exodus of New York stalwarts in search of fresh climes.


Lacoste - Fall-Winter2017 - Womenswear - New York - © PixelFormula


"This is a look into the future," explained Portuguese designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista. The runway was decorated to mimic Mars with sand and rock formation littered on the ground. "Looking at the future is also a way of being more optimistic," said Baptista, perhaps another nod to the uncertain times.

The idea of "a cosmic voyage" was rooted in founder Rene Lacoste's foray into the aircraft industry, setting up a company that contributed to developing the Concorde and Airbus aviation programs.

What that meant in practice were pieces influenced by aviation and astronaut's clothing but that also channelled 90s streetwear with a loose silhoutte that made the most of colour contrasts and the interplay of matte and shine.
 

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