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Alexander Wang’s New Collection is an Homage to US Designers

In an age when copycat designs are instantly called out by the unofficial fashion police, Diet Prada, and trade mark laws mean big business for law firms and corporations, designer Alexander Wang showed no fear in his Spring 2020 designs for Collection 1.

The first-generation American designer described the collection as an “ode to the pioneers of American fashion and a look to its future.” And he chose to present it in a democratic way—atop the ice rink at New York City’s Rockefeller Center—and with a multiracial cast of models including SNL’s Pete Davidson and models Kendall Jenner and Kaia Gerber.

The influence of Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren was evident across the collection’s four “acts” that mixed city chic basics, preppy pieces, patriotic motifs and relaxed sportswear designs.

For Act 1, Wang reinterpreted workwear for the city dweller. Donna Karan’s aesthetic was reflected in knotted stretch jersey bodysuits, solid knits and voluminous outerwear. Leather blazers and wool coats were defined by strong shoulders and branded labels.

Act 2 was a play on Calvin Klein’s heyday in the ’90s with minimalist logo tops, body-con dresses, boudoir camisoles and branded boxer briefs. Wang hopped on the half and half fashion trend with leather and denim jeans. Denim skirts were cut asymmetrically—a silhouette that was carried through the entire range.

Act 3 introduced Wang’s take on unpretentious prep with strong nod to Ralph Lauren’s 50-plus-year-old archive. Velvet tuxedo jackets, jeans adorned with suede fringe and knits with deconstructed U.S. flag motifs were obvious references to the legendary designer. The chino got a modern update as joggers, while braided belts were stacked around waists like bangle bracelets.

In Act 4, Wang shifted his focus to females and the future. The designer described the theme as where “the female spirit meets the optimism of American fashion.” The all-white collection combined deconstructed football jerseys, T-shirt dresses and slip dresses with white denim pieces like a line snap front long coat, cut-off shorts and a Trucker/hoodie hybrid. Branded underwear waistbands peaked from white shorts and loose jeans.