Sneakers on the runway! You’ve heard that line before. (Trainers have had a good year so far—see Dior’s and Chanel’s Fall Couture collections, for starters.) But in the case of today’s terrific Alexander Wang show, it means something new. Wang, a sneakerhead if ever there was one, used the sporty shoes as a leitmotif, reinterpreting iconic styles as clothes. Nike’s familiar Flyknits were reimagined as clingy body-con dresses in electric colors, while the signature white and green of Adidas’ Stan Smiths became—what else?—tennis dresses.
It could’ve gone in a gimmicky direction. We suppose a foam-injected leather dress that looked like running shoe tread came close, but otherwise these were sexy clothes that women are going to want and wear. We’re thinking, in particular, of a series of colorful, flippy little minidresses made from tiny pleats and worn over second-skin black turtlenecks—like techno Madame Grès or 21st-century Fortuny. He mentioned both figures at a preview. Wang has always been a designer who prefers to look forward rather than back. Maybe his time at Balenciaga is turning him on to fashion history?