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T by Alexander Wang Pre-Fall 2016

Utilitarian chic and glimmers of French Revolutionary energy abound in Alexander Wang’s pre-Fall 2016 collection for his second line, T by Alexander Wang. His culottes scream sans culottes and it’s amazing how a ski cap in red easily comes across as a revolutionary’s Phrygian cap. The heavier textures of khaki, knits and denim are juxtaposed with light, more billowing fabrics in layering that has often proved a signature of opt-out subcultures. Here, it’s one part Seattle grunge, one part Prenzelberg Eco-mum, mixed up with an imagined Delacroix depicting the Russian Revolution.

It’s good news even if you don’t need the gushing adjectives; a collection primarily composed of simple, practical pieces in their own right. In effect, the essential thing making them “pre-Fall” is the layering itself. Didn’t you ever listen to seasoned travellers telling you that the trick to being prepared for almost any kind of weather is layering?

In a mix-‘n-match collection of innumerable combinations, layering a flowing dress with spaghetti-string  straps over denim or combining a much longer coat over a short hemline gives you options. Though, it’s interesting to note that Wang has restricted his trouser silhouette to the distinctly wider end of the spectrum that is where all things fashionable are heading, whether bell-bottomed Capri pants or wide-cut in the style of tumbling 1940s “lounge suits” fit for a Hollywood star. No leggings of skinny jeans going on here.

With oversized knits and many roomy silhouettes this is a collection that places comfort and casualness first. In fact, it would probably be too casual, too readymade Boho chic, if it didn’t include those tapered coats or tops with draping details that enable you to dress it up a little for work or more formal venues. Nonetheless, its packed with the kinds of garments you end up getting a lot of mileage out of for more than just one season.

And, with Alexander Wang’s international star riding higher than ever before, you also get all those bragging rights afforded by swanning around in something by the most successful American designer of his generation.

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