Feb 12, 2012
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Alexander Wang displays collection at NY show

Feb 12, 2012

NEW YORK - Alexander Wang has turned a Hudson River pier into a house of mirrors to show a fall-winter collection that should figure prominently in the 14 shops he'll be opening in East Asia this year.

Alexander Wang - AW 2012-13 / Photo: Pixel Formula

Not yet 30, the California-born Wang, one of the hottest talents in New York fashion, delighted a giddy crowd of fans Saturday in cavernous Pier 94 on the Hudson River with a futuristic collection dominated by glossy coats and jackets.

Wang made extensive use of merino wool, which appeared in turns in a peroxide lacquered raincoat with vinyl visor, an oxblood lacquered cardigan and a black fishnet turtleneck under a black nappa puffer vest with detachable hood.

For a sizzling finale, Wang had his models -- including show-closer Gisele Bundchen in a long black leather coat slit seductively down the side -- weave their way around the mirrors and then stand rigid before their reflections.

"I'm really lucky this season," said Wang backstage, where his cheerful personality showed no sign of being corrupted by either his ever-growing fame or his ambitious plans to focus the growth of his business in Asia.

The first of Wang's new stores in Asia is to open next month in Beijing, and by the end of the year his shingle will be hanging outside a network of boutiques from Tokyo to Singapore.

Wang is also introducing a line of lifestyle products for the home, and for those who cannot wait to get their hands on his latest outfits, they should be available for pre-order online from Valentine's Day.

Earlier, at the Lacoste show on day three of New York fashion week, cellophane vitrines of fake snow lent an appropriate wintry flavor to the venerable French sportswear brand's fall-winter collection.

The distinctive 1960s Alpine ski resort theme grew out of creative director Felipe Oliveira Baptista's rummaging through the archives of the crocodile-logo label founded by Rene Lacoste, the 1920s tennis legend.

Lacoste dressed the French national ski team in 1966, Baptista told AFP, "and I also had access to family photos from the 1930s in Chamonix," the quintessential French ski resort, for inspiration.

Close-fitting outfits were the result, with paneled leggings, quilted jackets and vests, and tight mini-dresses with silver zipper pockets, complemented with ski-google sunglasses and headbands.

"These are very easy-wearing clothes," explained Baptista backstage. "We gave a lot of thought to comfort, to having an alluring garment that would also be easy to live with."

In other shows Saturday, New York's own Jill Stuart appealed to the inner Gossip Girl in every 30-something woman with a collection that gave pride of place to box-pleated A-line mini-skirts and dresses.

Particularly fetching, and likely to fly off the sales rack next autumn, were handsome navy blue cape jackets with sleeves cropped an inch or two up the wrist, worn with the shiniest of patent leather platform boots.

Stuart's front-row guests included socialite Olivia Palermo, actress Nicki Reed, and Ramses Barden of the Super Bowl-winning New York Giants whose pre-show patience with autograph hunters and bloggers was a master class in magnanimity.

by Robert MacPherson and Brigitte Dusseau

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