What just happened: Alexander Wang debuts his final collection for the house in a show starring Kravitz and Nymphomaniac’s Sophie Kennedy Clark
Tonight at Paris Fashion Week, Alexander Wang’s three-year, 16-collection tenure at Cristóbal Balenciaga’s namesake fashion house drew to a close. Going out with a bang, Wang served up a sensuous collection, modelled by a star studded cast, that not only marked the end of one chapter, but the continuation of another; Wang leaves the house to focus on his own blossoming eponymous label. Here’s what happened at the designer’s final Balenciaga show.
FOUR ACTRESSES TOOK TO THE CATWALK
For today’s show, Wang not only cast his favourite models – Anna Ewers, Hanne Gaby Odiele and Julia Nobis, all of whom walked in his New York Fashion Week show – but enlisted four Hollywood starlets too. Zoe Kravitz, Nymphomaniac star Sophie Kennedy-Clark, Julia Garner and Suki Waterhouse all stormed the house’s runway. While it wasn’t Suki’s catwalk debut (she’s graced the Burberry runway several times), for Zoe and Sophie, it was.
NOTORIOUS B.I.G. SOUNDTRACKED THE SHOW
With the soundtrack, Wang succeeded in bringing a bit of America to the City of Light. The late Brooklyn rapper Christopher George Latore Wallace, better known by his stage name, Notorious B.I.G. provided the music with “Going back to Cali”, along with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s 1992 classic “Nuthin but a G Thang”. Friends with Rihanna and A$AP Rocky, the designer has already made his love of hip-hop clear this season, enlisting Tinashe, Ludacris and Lil Wayne to perform at the after-party of his own-label show at NYFW.
THE DESIGNER TOOK A BOW, RATHER EXUBERANTLY
At Wang’s NYFW show, the designer practically danced down the catwalk after the models had walked the finale and this evening, it was no different. As you can see in the video above, he danced around, holding his phone all the while, filming a selfie. Keep an eye on his Instagram to see. While we’ve seen models take selfies while walking down the runway (see Cara Delevingne at Giles AW14 show), we’ve never seen a designer do one as they take their bow. Wang might just have been the first.
As Wang bows out of Balenciaga to concentrate on his own label, the question now is who will replace him? Two months ago, we made our predictions, citing five possible candidates. Two of their names are still being batted about – Paco Rabanne’s creative director Julien Dossena a Sebastien Piegné who worked under Nicola Formichetti at Mugler. Both these designers are former Balenciaga assistants, along with Moroccan-French couturier Bouchra Jarrar, whose name has also been thrown into the mix. Sacai’s founder Chitose Abe is another designer who is also slated to assume the position of Wang’s successor. As for who Balenciaga’s owner (luxury conglomerate Kering) will choose – only time will tell.