Alexander Wang’s latest collection is available to pre-order, giving us an early insight into what it costs to create a coat out of heat-sensitive (or, as Wang calls it, “thermo-reactive”) fabric.
The coats – which start off a dull green-brown, but become a vibrant yellow, lime, blue or purple when exposed to heat – will retail at $7,995, with a $3,998 deposit required to pre-order. The heat-sensitive skirt and top suit – worn by Karlie Kloss, Jourdan Dunn, Anne V, among others at the show – begin at $2,550, and all look similar until their underlying colour is revealed.
Recognisable status pieces are back, and with them a desire for logos. We no longer wish for rebellious individualism, instead preferring to show off our inclusion in fashion communities.
Across the spring/summer ’14 catwalks, the logo was abundant. Marc Jacobs’s startlingly beautiful swan song at Louis Vuitton had Edie Campbell naked but for hand-painted Louis Vuitton Stephen Sprouse graffiti covering her lithe body. Similarly for Carol Lim and Humberto Leon at Kenzo, Missoni, Alexander Wang, and DKNY.
Logos offer free marketing and add value to products. You may not be able to afford the $4,000 Saint Laurent biker jacket, but you can have Hedi Slimane’s $200 Saint Laurent T-shirt which has been redesigned by the artist Zane Reynolds for spring.
He makes his debut for Balenciagawith a collection of near-monastic black-and-white looks in clean, spare shapes—cocoon jackets, peplumed tops, and sleek trousers—that resurrect some of the house’s classic silhouettes.
In the world of postwar Parisian fashion, Cristobal Balenciaga was very influential. Christian Dior once said “Haute couture is like an orchestra, whose conductor is Balenciaga. We, other couturiers are the musicians and we follow the directions he gives.” Even the sharp tongue of Coco Chanel softened in deference to his skills: “He is a couturier in the truest sense of the word. Only he is capable of cutting material, assembling a creation, and sewing it by hand.”
Nicolas Ghesquière was totally unknown when he was handed the helm of Balenciaga at the age of 25, so he had a lot to prove when he was appointed to lead the house in 1997. Quite masterfully, however, he delivered. He successfully melded his own innovations with those of the founding designer, and vastly expanded the brand’s commercial reach. His work soon turned Balenciaga into a critically acclaimed fashion house in the 2000s. The Gucci Group bought Balenciaga in 2001. On November 5, 2012, it was announced that Ghesquière was to leave his role as creative director of Balenciaga after 15 years in the role, being replaced by Alexander Wang.