Band of Outsiders
2011 September 11
Spring 2012: Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang, VPL, Jill Stuart, Band of Outsiders
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(NEW YORK) Alexander Wang
Alexander Wang was feeling sporty for spring, continuing his athletic POV from Resort. The show began with a series of dark, lasercut mesh separates: utility vests over poppy polos, to-the-knee biker shorts, mesh-pocketed minis, and the signature Wang bomber. Perforated jerseys transformed into transparent toppers with a racy tire track motif. Pre-game warm-ups became fitted motocross pants paired with a knit track crop top or cut-off plastic jacket. Then there were the botanical babes, outfitted in cinched-waist anoraks, cargos, and floral bodysuits. Post show, the game MVP was unanimous among front-rowers. In the ready to wear department, the burgundy and navy leather stadium dresses, nodding to playful tennis team get-ups, took the trophy home. For accessories, the recent CFDA champ offered a winning combo of oversize leather golf bags, white ankle strap mules, and perforated leather bandanas.
Early morning chicsters (Venti lattes in hand) trekked out to Pier 57 for the first Helmut Lang runway show in more than five years. The husband-wife duet of creative directors Nicole and Michael Colovos didn’t disappoint. Catering to their core clientele, edgy asymmetrical black and separates dominated the runway with an occasional saffron yellow PA or painterly print dotting the lineup. Washed-out brushstrokes referenced artist Richard Serra atop breezy dresses, cropped blazers with a cutaway back, and casual Friday shorts. And to stand apart: sporty bralettes and sequined collage dresses.
“I’ve always been fascinated by nature,” explained Victoria Bartlett backstage before the show. “I started looking at Darwin and all those biologists, looking at the whole birth of our planet and how everything forms.” Of particular interest to the stylist turned designer? Mollusks, invertebrates, and trilobites. Her earthy aqua inspiration was echoed in neon coral neoprene suiting, a khaki foam number with spine-back detailing, brightly-hued volcanic print dresses, and oyster-esque shoulder pads. The designer’s “underwear, outerwear, anywhere” tagline was particularly apparent in the hooded bra tops avec clam diggers and high-waisted hot pants teamed with slouchy knits.
Are you ready to look pretty in pink? For Spring, Stuart was all over the pastels, showing an array of coral, pink, turquoise, mint green, and yellow. Shapes were comprised of drop-waisted dresses, long and short jumpsuits, and even a few knit-tie jackets paired with petite booty shorts. Her fascination with winged creatures carries over from the owls of last season to delicate swallows for spring. Multicolor birds adorned short sleeve blouses and dresses and an Art Deco print of a lady’s face showed up on the sleeves and body of a silk dress. Just when things could have gotten a little too saccharinely sweet, she grounded the cool factor with a huge oversized leather clutch and snakeskin brown platform sandals with neon dipped heels.
Boy and Girl by Band of Outsiders
Since Scott Sternberg launched Band of Outsiders in 2004, the label has remained a hot hipster ticket on the NYFW schedule. This time around, Sternberg rolled out his more masculine-inflected Boy line alongside the softer femme feel of his Girl line, under the High Line (are we sensing a theme this season?). Sublime shirting, threaded with stripes and criss-crossed with a tangle of suspenders, contrasted with flashes of shiny black leather in the form of skirts, ponchos, and bandeaus, plus breezily-cut suiting with subtle detailing in sheer chambray blue. On the Girl-ier end of the spectrum, Sternberg offered a touch of bluesy florals, oodles of gauzy whites and cream separates, edged in eyelet and loosely ruched with drawstrings, including a delightfully sweet T and tap shorts combo in ombre cream-to-charcoal eyelet topped with a black ribbon-encircled chapeau. As for the footwear, thickly strapped stripe-y Manolos for Band of Outsiders grounded most of the looks. The show ended with a memorable touch of confetti flying from the High Line. Another inventive show from this outsider no more. Bravo.