#WangFest Disaster: Alexander Wang Falls Short in His NYFW Show
By Anna Curtis
In the fashion world, image is everything, and Alexander Wang’s iconic look is no exception. But keeping up a brand persona not only requires creativity, but also continuous dedication. Though Wang’s past shows, which he endearingly refers to as “Wangfest,” have shown growth and individuality as a designer, many criticize him for how his desire to impress often clouds professionalism when it comes to his shows.
At this season’s show, Wang’s plan to dazzle his attendees ended up falling short of expectations, frustrating and confusing fans. Boasting his own rebelliousness and distinctiveness with tactics like printing “NO AFTER PARTY” on the 146th St. invitations, used to weed out the less fashion conscious, rambunctious guests who were only looking to booze the night away at an after party, Wang’s show was described as disorganized, overcrowded, and simply did not impress.
The night began at the Hamilton Theater on 146th street, where attendees finally got a look at the new line after waiting an hour and a half. While the runway was more than unconventional, as Wang used the streets of New York as his own personal stage, viewers who expected extravagant pieces were disappointed in the show. The understated, ready-to-wear looks clashed with the bold messages written on the fabric, such as “Night of Treason.” Wang’s artistry, meant to excite customers and critics, paled in comparison to what the designer seemed to be going for.
Off the runway, the huge spectacle on the streets of Harlem attracted social media addicts, fashion favorites, and even celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner, who were attending to watch Kendall Jenner walk in the show. The scene caused a human traffic jam that overcrowded the event, with attendees jostling and shoving just to get a glimpse of the show. Waiting for the show to begin, the crowd became irritated, as food trucks and more people blocked up the streets. Critics called the show a “big joke,” with too much pushing and shoving, and their patience wore thin fast.
A collection so heavily emphasizing the attractions of living life “one drink to the next”, which Wang described as “redefining party-girl chic,” did not impress the consumers and critics. Wang meant to evoke the wild side of his attendees, but ended up distracting them from his unabashedly tame collection with the chaotic NYC streets. While critics enjoyed some aspects of his work like those reminiscent of ’90s grunge, the looks drew too many comparisons to other designers past collections and even his own show from 2016. Mixed with the disordered atmosphere of the show, Wang’s spring show simply fell short.