It was a booming voice that came over the loudspeakers just before the start of the Alexander Wang show, asking the crowd to “refrain from using flash photography.” A slight pause, then: “That includes cellphones.”
Why not just ask this crowd to stop breathing? Or to shop at Wal-Mart. Either would be more conceivable than that unusual request, especially given this is Wang, a designer who, with his long mop of hair, impish grin and stunning skill at deconstructing clothes, is an industry fave.
Saturday’s show at Pier 94 along the Hudson River showed Wang doing what he does best — taking clothes apart in an artful, considered way, and then partly reattaching them so you look at this jacket or that shirt in a whole new way.
This season, he slit mostly white shirtdresses and separates just above the hem, reattaching the hem with bits of fishing line every few inches. Then it was a white python T-shirt, slit through the torso like horizontal stripes, then reattached with the fishing line. Tops and coats and more kept coming, slit at all the seams, or sliced in a zebra-like pattern, some dresses slashed in such a way they seemed to float like a soft cage or net around the models as they walked the runway.
Then came the finale, with a phalanx of models in all-white slashed gear, walking into a formation and then standing there, staring, intense, like sentinels. Their hair, stick straight and parted down the middle with odd strips of white tape down the part. The lights go out. And those strips of tape, indeed, all the white clothes, suddenly glow in the dark, in what seemed like different shades — blue, yellow, green.
You know what happened next? That’s right. A whooooole lotta flash photography. Sorry, booming voice guy — we couldn’t help ourselves. Wang had just served up the most exciting moment of Fashion Week thus far.