Who’s to say that Alexander Wang won’t be right for Balenciaga? Looking again at some Wang items from our 2012 Fall and Winter merchandise, I see Wang’s sensibility as austere, warrior-inspired (albeit of the urban street) with clasps and fixtures as prominent design features.
Alexander Wang Tai Doop Kit briefcase, Fall 2012
Balenciaga also relies on buttons, straps, and epaulettes as the ornamental signature on otherwise structured and minimal pieces of clothing.
Putty two-button Balenciaga men's suit and navy, red-striped wool Balenciaga men's sweater, both currently available at INA Men
One stripe, one tuck, one cut-out, one overly strappy, chunky heel – these are the futuristic touches of a Balenciaga number; and Alexander Wang often operates on a similar premise – a single drape, maximized pocket, or a heel too thick – these are the marks of his functional, though casual, uniform.
Patent ankle strap Balenciaga platform, currently available in INA Nolita, and Alexander Wang black men's jacket, INA Chelsea
Though Wang might reinvent an army jacket as a long, olive green drawstring fastened liner-coat, Nicolas Ghesquiere has also been known to have taken a military jacket as a starting point – only finishing as a tailored, high-necked, waist-cinching silver buttoned blazer.
Black wool & crepe Balenciaga coat, currently available in INA Soho, and navy, wool blazer, currently available in INA Nolita
Insofar as I have experienced these labels, neither puts forward the lady-like without a toughened, masculine take. Whether she be made androgynous through Wang’s camouflage color palette, hooded and leather accented pieces, or through Ghesquiere’s helmets, insect-shelled dresses, and outer-space graphics, the woman is seen as invincible through a hardened edge.
And if you are not a Wang enthusiast, come to INA for the remaining collectable pieces from Ghesquiere’s most recent Balenciaga collections, including motorcycle bags in an array of models and colors.