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- American fashion designer
Back in January, Alexander Wang announced that he’d be straying from New York Fashion Week’s de facto schedule and instead showing in June and December to align with the preseason collections. And tonight, the designer came out swinging for his Collection 1 debut at South Street Seaport’s Pier 17, putting forth an exuberant lineup that celebrated a youthful rock ’n’ roll take on neo-Americana—complete with Stars and Stripes and paisley hair treatments that offered a new beauty alternative for summer bonfires and beach parties come Fourth of July weekend.
The patriotic runway successor to last season’s silver claw clip for millennial It girls? That would be the biker-esque snapback bandana headbands worn across the center of the forehead and paired with hairstylist Guido Palau’s latest take on gritty Wang-girl hair.
“It’s not wavy, it’s not straight—it’s nothing-y texture,” Palau explained backstage while blasting small sections smooth with the new Dyson Supersonic dryer and leaving the rest air-dried before raking Redken’s No Blow Dry Just Right Cream and Shine Flash from roots to tips. “We wanted it to look very cool and downtown à la Axl Rose.” But the scene-stealing hair statements didn’t end there. A few models, including Selena Forrest and Hiandra Martinez, received intricate, individual braid designs spangled with stars and geometric shapes; meanwhile, Binx Walton took bespoke plaits to the next level by having her name woven into her cornrows.
The show’s spirited styles—as well as the matte black, Stars and Stripes face paint etched onto a few models by makeup artist Diane Kendal using a NARS Flibuste Velvet Shadow Stick—certainly presented a fresh counterpoint to prototypical red-white-and-blue dressing, and one marked by a similar streak of fun, freedom, and optimism. These may be uncertain times, Wang seemed to say, but the show must go on.