Alexander Wang Spring 2017: Madonna, McDonald’s, & #Merch


Hanne Gaby on the runway at Alexander Wang spring 2017. Photo: Getty

When a designer is willing to hold his fashion show 45 minutes later than it’s scheduled to begin, you know that someone big has yet to arrive. At Alexander Wang’s spring 2017 show — held Saturday night in New York — that someone was none other than Madonna. Mind you, I never actually saw Lady Madge in the flesh. But through a certain game of telephone often played by editors and other show-goers, we were able to decode that she had finally arrived — along with her teenage daughter, Lourdes Leon.

At last, it was time: The lights went up full blast as Princess Nokia’s “Tomboy” began thumping through the speakers — and the very first members of Alexander Wang’s model army (or is that… #squad?) stomped out onto the runway.


Madonna arriving to Alexander Wang. Photo: Getty

Alexander Wang’s look this season could best be described as California chill, or at least what we imagine #WangSquad member and model Hanne Gaby’s interpretation of this concept would be. Hanne has long been one of Alex’s favorite girls — he even designed the dress for her wedding this summer — and all the girls were seemingly transformed into versions of her, sporting her bleached brows and signature messy, textured blonde shag, like they’d been surfing for a whole week and had literally not so much as rinsed their hair in fresh water.

The collection started off strong, and only got stronger. The first group was all about fashion’s favorite essential, the button-down shirt. Lots of designers have been experimenting with deconstructing and turning them upside down etc, but there was something extraordinarily fresh and relaxed about Alex’s take. There were loose white cotton blouses, a striped shirtdress with asymmetrical sleeves, and kicky little drawstring shorts reminiscent of sleepwear — and sure, those are possibly only appropriate for women under a certain age, but I enjoyed thinking about the possibilities, regardless.


A model on the runway at Alexander Wang spring 2017. Photo: Getty

Then the girls really hit the surf. Nineties-esque faded neon sweatshirts with MIND DETERGENT emblazoned across them (Wang loves his slogans), shiny black bonded scuba tops and pants, demure wetsuit-inspired midi-length dresses with neon piping (we can see Anna Wintour in the short sleeve version), and a nylon windbreaker turned off-the shoulder-shoulder top that seems more or less made for Instagram. Wang also revisited that weird ‘90s tribal print that likely adorned your leggings and possibly the sides of your notebooks while you doodled idly in math class.

To further drive home the chill vibes, there were no heels in the show — just moccasins and flip flips with varying degrees of embellishments. Even the sequined slip dresses presented at the very end of the show were paired with flip flops.

Of course, as you likely know by now, that wasn’t really the end of the show. Just as the last model left the runway, the giant screen covering the set’s background started playing a grainy, VHS-style movie where we could see trucks driving through New York City, interspersed with images of contracts and non disclosure agreements. Suddenly, the trucks are seized, the merchandise is opened and … BOOM! Alexander Wang x Adidas was born.


Models on the runway at Alexander Wang spring 2017. Photo: Getty

The whole cast of models stumbled down the runway en masse, all wearing offerings from the collaboration. As it goes, Alex kept to the classics: terry cloth polos, long shorts, all in black with white stripes. The piece that will probably sell out first is the trench coat with patent leather sleeves. Health Goth will never die.

And JUST when we thought the show was over for the second time, the giant screen was rolled away, and we were suddenly inside #WANGFEST— a carnival that included a mobile 7-Eleven convenience store (which was promptly raided for chocolate bars, although they also had a myriad of “hangover cures” as well), one of those carnival grab machines stocked with Nars products, and a Slurpee station with all the flavors — which would’ve been the all-time best thing I’ve ever seen at a fashion party, if it weren’t for the fact that Alex Wang then revealed a freaking McDonald’s, serving not only burgers and fries, but also bacon, egg, and cheese McMuffins. Un-REAL.


Alexander Wang takes an enthusiastic bow. Photo: Getty

Nearby in the VIP section, I watched Kylie Jenner romantically feed Tyga a french fry. If that isn’t true love, I don’t know what is.

The party went until the wee hours of the morning, with performances from South Korean rapper CL, Desiigner, and Travis Scott. Meanwhile, some kids spray painted a car, while others lined up to buy #merch commemorating the evening’s festivities. Sadly, Alexander Wang’s spring 2017 collection was not among those items available for purchase. Otherwise, it would’ve been the first stuff to sell out.

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