Alexander Wang unveils masculine but flirty look
Alexander Wang's masculine but flirty spring collection, unveiled on Saturday, quite literally bore his mark: the fashion prince lasered his name as a motif on most of the pieces.
The 29-year-old, who was appointed creative director of Spain's Balenciaga last year, used the tiny cut-out -- you might have to squint to see it -- on sleeves, bodices and entire dresses.
While the ubiquitous bare midriff cropped up, Wang took a new twist on the trend, with boxy tops, jackets and slouchy jerseys opening in a triangle from below the chest.
He paired these with flirtatious skirts or loose-fitting shorts.
One top was transparent except for a single well-placed panel reading: "Parental advisory, explicit content."
"It was this idea of censorship and playing with the duality of something quite masculine and quite restrained and understated but still being very graphic and flirtatious and perverse," Wang told AFP after the show.
He said he used traditional menswear fabrics and tailoring, as well as "this kind of artificial synthetic, kind of liquid viscose, poly blend leather."
Celebrities, fashionistas and industry heavyweights have flocked to New York fashion week, which runs through Thursday when the spotlight swings over to London, Milan and Paris.
One of the most anticipated designers, Wang's show was attended by hip-hop star Kanye West and Beyonce's sister Solange Knowles.
While the big names tend to be kept for last, several popular designers hit the runway on day three of the fashion frenzy, unveiling a vast array of looks for spring-summer 2014.
Singapore-born Prabal Gurung -- whose creations have been worn by Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey -- went to extremes to "preserve an elegant woman who is more and more rare."
Gurung's dresses and skirts fell mid-calf, some elegantly off-shoulder, in pastel pink, lavender, canary yellow, green or bold prints. Lips were bright pink and tangerine while hair was slicked back.
Describing his collection as "femininity with a bite" the designer -- who launched his eponymous brand in 2009 -- said he pushed into the future using unusual fabric choices.
He used laminated silk and lace and mixed tweed with plastic. One "raincoat" was blended with tulle and silk while another was just clear black-painted plastic paired with green crop pants and a printed T-shirt.
Gurung told AFP his collection was "an ode to all the women I love and women in general."
He said he was inspired by actress Marilyn Monroe from Bert Stern's "The Last Sitting" photoshoot -- published in Vogue six weeks before she died.
But the woman envisioned by popular American designer Jill Stuart is a little bit more rock-and-roll.
Shift dresses, babydoll dresses, cropped tops and high-waisted skirts were the order of the day in a simple monochromatic palette "with a touch of indigo."
"The inspiration is rock stars' girlfriends on holiday and what they are wearing," Stuart said after her show, adding that these were rock chicks of another era, and that she had been inspired by the feel of the south of France in the 1970s.
She threw in an edgy mix of black leather and organza to show what this type of girl would wear when she headed back to the city.
Stuart counts stars Angelina Jolie, Madonna, Jennifer Aniston and Paris Hilton among her devotees.
French luxury sportswear brand Lacoste, meanwhile, goes back to its sporty heritage for spring-summer 2014, and designer Felipe Oliveira Baptista used sharp lines and geometry to create a collection "reminiscent of modernist architecture: all lightness and transparence."
Large wire cubes on the runway set the angular tone and the outfits came in muted colors, with a lot of transparency and movement.
"I was very interested, nearly obsessed with the idea of lightness, not only in the material but also in the spirit, for something very desirable, very sensual," said Baptista.