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ALEXANDER WANG AW15 Gothic Japanese Lolita Victorian Zips
Hanne Gaby Odiele (IMG) backstage at Alexander Wang AW15Photography Lea Colombo

Alexander Wang AW15 + livestream

All black everything: heavy metal lovers stomp the runway in platform goth boots and twisted Victorian silhouettes

TextSusie LauPhotographyLea Colombo

Initial reaction:

“Thrash heavy metal bands!” exclaimed Alexander Wang after the show as he cited his main inspiration point. But it wasn’t heavy metal as we know it – there wasn’t a band t-shirt or biker jacket to be seen. Instead, Wang remixed the genre with Victoriana and Japanese lolitas, his band pounding out on stacked, buckled and spiked goth boots to a soundtrack of Gesaffelstein’s “Pursuit” and Prodigy’s “The Day is My Enemy”, hair wet and dripping in their faces as though they had thrashed it out on stage. The FROW – which included Kanye West, Kim Kardashian (with baby North) and Nicki Minaj – may not have been connoisseurs of the genre of heavy metal, but Wang was seeing this music subculture through his eyes, and undoubtedly it won’t just be metalheads and goths nodding their heads to his beat.

A romantic edge:

“Coming off of the H&M collection with its sportiness, I wanted to go somewhere different,” explained the designer. “There was a new romanticism that I don’t usually play with – Victorian silhouettes, hourglass shapes, velvet, corsetry and chainmail made in a sensual way.” Rebelling from the sporty sensibility of last season, Wang extracted untapped elements from gothic lolitas and visual kei bands, as a newfound darkly romantic vibe took over in the Edwardian-tinged tailoring, cinched in slinky chainmail dresses and corset boned vests. 

Back to black:

Wang’s collections have always been dominated by fashion’s tried and tested black. After last season’s colourful trainer tech, Wang went back to black as a partial appeasement of buyers who consistently ask for the shade, as well as conveniently fitting in with the subcultures that he was exploring. It was anything but monotone though, as the designer riffed off different music-tied style tropes in a way that befitted the brand.

The soundtrack to Alexander Wang AW15: